The return of DeMarcus Cousins was the league’s biggest story on Friday night, and Cousins did not disappoint. Cousins played 15 minutes and had 14 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Dubs in his first action since a brutal achilles injury that ultimately ended his time in New Orleans.
The Warriors have been careful with Cousins and his recovery, and despite fouling out, playing for 15 minutes is a great way to get his feet wet in his return. But Cousins had a huge dunk in the early minutes of the 112-94 win that got his teammates on the Warriors bench excited, and he was part of a win over a Clippers that could meet the fully-functional Warriors behemoth in the postseason.
Afterward, Cousins was thrilled when talking to reporters. He described his mood as “a kid on Christmas” and said it was one of the “best days” of his life.
One down moment came when Cousins spoke about all the attention he received for his Dubs debut. He loved the standing ovation from the crowd, but it did come with some negatives: the media.
“It was the fakest love I’ve ever seen in my life,” Cousins said, drawing laughs from reporters. “I don’t know how guys like Steph and KD do it on the daily, cameras around them all day. I don’t like it. At all.”
Cousins will have to get used to the attention that comes with being on the NBA’s modern dynasty, at least for this season. But one thing that might make it easier is that his teammates were equally excited to have him on the floor as well. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry even ambushed him during an ESPN interview to pull down his hood and dump some water on his head.
It’s all fun and games for Golden State now, who have five All-Stars in the lineup and are once again the toast of the Western Conference. As much as that might be tough for some NBA fans to see, it’s good that Cousins can have some fun after what’s been a tough rehab process to get him back on the court in the first place.