New Orleans Pelicans star big man DeMarcus Cousins makes his much-anticipated return to Sacramento Thursday night and the All-Star says he won’t be seeking revenge against the Kings and has moved on from the trade.
Cousins was drafted by the Kings in 2010 and played there for seven seasons before the franchise moved him at last year’s trade deadline.
The 6-11 center averaged 21.1 points and 10.8 rebounds in his Kings career, but he also had numerous run-ins with coaches, teammates, media members and referees.
“I’m excited to play in front of the fans and see the reaction,” Cousins told The Undefeated. “But as far as it being like a revenge game or hating, I’m past it. I’m in a good place. I’m happy where I’m at. You know we have a chance to win [in New Orleans]. We’re playing for something. So I’m good.”
When asked what his biggest regret was during his time in Sacramento, Cousins says he wishes he had left the team sooner and not remained loyal when his camp was telling him to leave.
“According to an NBA source, Cousins’ representatives told Kings general manager Vlade Divac after the 2014-15 season that their client wanted to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Cousins’ representatives also warned him that his situation with head coach George Karl could get worse and he should push for a trade.”
Cousins ultimately told his representatives and the Kings that he wanted to stay, a decision the 27-year-old now regrets.
“There were plenty of situations where I’m like, ‘Man, why didn’t you just do it this way?’ ” Cousins told The Undefeated. “And there was plenty of times where I was a victim. But at the end of the day, it’s still on me. My biggest regret is not leaving when I had the chance. I had the chance, but I fought it. I had the chance to leave, but I didn’t.
“I kind of blame myself for even putting myself at that point. You knew coming in this was a business. How are you going to be loyal to something that ain’t even loyal to any player that’s ever played this game? I was a fool.
“But at the same time, it doesn’t change who I am. … I still live by that code. You’ve just got to learn how to separate business and your personal life. And all that did was teach me a lesson.”