DeMarcus Cousins made his first USA Basketball team this summer after two previous tryouts. He was with them when they took gold at the FIBA World Cup in Spain. Two weeks later, training camps started, which includes this week’s trip to China to play exhibition games against the Nets. So it’s no wonder Boogie told NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper on Tuesday before boarding a plane to China, “I feel like I’m 45 years old.”
The Kings played the Raptors at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on Tuesday and boarded a 747 to China the next day, where Boogie caught Kings rookie Nik Stauskas showing off his wad of per diem. Once in China, the Kings play the Nets in Shanghai on Saturday and then again in Beijing on Wednesday. In between the exhibition games the team will take part in a number of promotional appearances as the NBA continues to expand into the gargantuan Asian markets.
When Boogie and his teammates come back on an 11 and a half hour flight across the Pacific to Sacramento, they’ll have three more preseason games in three separate states.
It’s enough to exhaust us just as we recount their preseason schedule. For Cousins, though, it’s a continuation of his hectic summer. His USA Basketball schedule included month-long mini-camp tryouts, public intra-squad scrimmages in Las Vegas, practices in Chicago, a brief knee scare, then a flight to New York for two more tune-up games. Finally, Cousins and Team USA flew across the Atlantic to Spain for nine games on the way to a gold medal, which came with all sorts of in-game scenes that must have worn out the Kings big man.
“I have adjusted,” Cousins tells Cooper-Howard. “I’m still going through the normal practices, but I may not go every time. I may sit out a couple times. Or when we’re playing five-on-five I may not play the whole time. I’m choosing my spots when I can get a little rest. The main thing is taking care of my body after the practices.”
Cousins might take some time to rest during his trip to China and after his chaotic summer schedule with even more traveling on the horizon. Still, after messing with Stauskas, setting a pretty lofty season-long goal to try and curb his on-court temper and winning a gold medal, he still had time to give his teammate and fellow gold medal winner, 28-year-old Rudy Gay, a hard time:
“I’ll be fine. I’m still a young fella. I’ll be good,” said Cousins. “We should worry about Rudy. He’s up in age a little bit.”
Will Boogie be rested in time for the season?
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