His friend and former Kentucky teammate John Wall might have an opportunity to own the town one day, but DeMarcus Cousins isn’t afraid to claim that he was first to adopt Washington as a second home. As Cousins once said, “I was actually here before they did the lottery balls.”
Cousins declared for the NBA draft after one season in college, and immediately began working out with local personal trainer Keith Williams, who has also drilled Kevin Durant, Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Ty Lawson and Jarrett Jack, among others. Williams helped Cousins get ready for the draft and his rookie season, and the Alabama native returned for more this summer after averaging 14.1 points and 8.6 rebounds with the Sacramento Kings.
Cousins has been more visible in the area this summer, playing with the Goodman Coalition at the Spingarn High and representing the Goodman League when it defeated the Drew League, 135-134, at Trinity University last month. He will join Wall and Durant for another charity exhibition on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Calvin Coolidge High School.
“It should be a fun,” Cousins said in a telephone interview this week. “A lot of the kids will come out, it will give them a great opportunity to see NBA players like us. It’s probably going to be as good as the first game” at Trinity.
Organizer Hanif Hill said on Friday that he has also received commitments from Jack, Jeff Green, Michael Beasley, Greg Monroe, James Harden, Kemba Walker, Gary Neal, Corey Brewer, Samardo Samuels and Ater Majok. Eric Maynor planned to play but was a last-minute scratch after developing a groin injury. Hill said Andray Blatche may also play, though Blatche said on Tuesday that it would depend on how well his shoulder felt. For those unable to shell out the $30 general admission price ($20 for youth) at the door, the game will be live streamed on ilinksports.com for $.99.
Cousins is also expected to play for the Goodman League during exhibitions against the Indy Pro-Am and Rucker Park later this month. “It’s just something to continue keep working. Even though the lockout is there, you still have to stay in shape, so those games are just part of it,” said Cousins, who added that the option of going overseas has become more appealing with the labor situation still unresolved. “As you can see, it’s getting serious.”
While Cousins may consider playing on foreign soil, he knows one place where he shouldn’t be considered an outsider. “D.C. basketball has adopted me, and I consider D.C. home,” said Cousins. “I don’t really hang a lot. I just kind of work out and then go chill out.”