DeMarcus Cousins is among a small number of players in basketball gifted enough to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. There’s just one problem for the Sacramento Kings All-Star, though: MVPs always come from winning teams.
In a story by Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the über-talented, hot-headed big man indicates that the league’s marquee individual award is his for the taking. Even more optimistic, however, is Cousins’ opinion that the re-built Kings will be fighting for a playoff berth in 2015-16.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
“To have playoff expectations, it’s an exciting feeling,” Cousins said. “It’s one I’ve never felt.”
Cousins’ supreme confidence is only somewhat misplaced.
When Sacramento began last season 9-5 behind a much-improved defense and utterly dominant performances from its best player, there was a groundswell of support for Cousins to be included in the MVP conversation. But a viral infection sidelined the 25-year-old shortly thereafter, beginning a chain of events that led to the abrupt dismissal of coach Michael Malone, eventual hiring of George Karl, and the complete evaporation of the success and general goodwill that led to Cousins’ ascent up the league hierarchy.
But that first month of play combined with subsequent flashes of two-way force reserved for the game’s elite still managed to put him in rarified air at season’s end. Cousins was rewarded with an All-NBA Second Team selection for his career year, finally putting any remaining doubt of his long-term potential to rest.
There might only be one player in the league capable of taking any team to the playoffs, though, and Cousins definitely isn’t LeBron James. Did Sacramento do enough this summer to surround its superstar with the talent necessary to compete for the postseason? The names on its reconstructed roster alone certainly suggest as much.