It’s hard to believe, but DeMarcus Cousins is in the midst of his seventh NBA season, and the 26-year-old is on the verge of doing something that no one has done since 2006: lead the Sacramento Kings to the postseason.
And people are taking notice.
“I believe it’s coming along,” Cousins said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show, referring to his league status. “I’m not at the place I would like to be in my career, but I think it’s steadily getting there. I understand it’s a process and I just got to keep pushing forward.”
The Kings (23-32) trail the Nuggets (25-30) by two games for the eighth playoff spot in the West. Sacramento’s record isn’t great, but making the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade would be a monumental achievement.
“I think we’re close,” Cousins said. “Our team is very confident. We believe in ourselves, and we think we can make it happen. So we’re on the right path right now. As of late, we’ve been playing some very good basketball. We just got to keep moving forward, and I believe we can make it happen.”
Cousins, a three-time All Star, is averaging 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. Unfortunately, he also leads the league in technical fouls, which is all many people want to focus on.
Of course, it’s possible that Cousins leads the league in techs because certain people – referees – still view him in a negative, biased light.
“I think that’s still very much the case, but I can’t worry about that,” Cousins said. “Just keep moving forward, staying positive, keep my goals in mind and just keep pushing forward. That’s all I can do. I can’t really control what others think, but I can control what I can control. Just keep pushing forward.”
Cousins said “it’s funny” when he hears people on television and radio talking about him negatively.
“That’s the thing,” he said. “You never hear from these people or you never hear anything about the person until it’s negative. When that situation comes about, then all of a sudden they know you so well. That’s just how it is. It is what it is. I know myself. The people that depend on me and know me, that’s all that matters. It is what it is.”
Either way, Cousins is interested in signing a long-term contract with Sacramento this offseason – reportedly one north of $200 million. One would think Cousins would take a cue from his contemporaries and try to latch on with a contender, but that’s not his style.
“Everybody that knows me know I’m a very loyal guy,” Cousins said. “I never want to give up on a situation. I believe in myself. I believe in my abilities. I believe I was put here for a reason. Like I said earlier, everything’s a process and I believe (we’re coming along). I’m very confident. That’s why I want to be in Sacramento.”