One of the biggest coups of free agency this summer had nothing to do with LeBron James and his decision to leave Cleveland for a second time and join the Los Angeles Lakers on a long-term deal. No, this was a much quieter development that unfolded while the rest of the league was distracted with LeBron’s aforementioned decision.
Yet to be fair, every team that failed to land DeMarcus Cousins this summer only has themselves to blame. As Cousins himself has explained recently, most prospective teams were too reluctant to take a chance on him after his injury, making the Warriors more or less a last resort.
Not surprisingly, almost immediately after he announced his signing, friends from around the league were blowing up his phone to not only ask why/how he arrived at such a decision, but also in a sort of ultimately futile last ditch effort to convince him otherwise and to join their respective teams instead.
Via Chris Haynes of ESPN:
As soon as word leaked that Cousins was Bay Area-bound, players around the league began calling him to gauge his mindset, and some even attempted to influence him to change his mind.
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum was one of the players who wanted to know what was going on.
“Shout out to my dog CJ,” Cousins said with a laugh. “I mean, it’s funny of course. But me and CJ have that type of relationship where we rap about all that type of stuff. In a way he was congratulating me, but at the same time he was dead serious [about what I was going to do]. But at the end of the day, I think he understood my situation and kind of where my mindset was with the whole situation. That’s my dog for sure.”
Cousins has also explained how future teammate Draymond Green hilariously attempted to pitch him on signing with Golden State by basically assuring him that they’ll end up in a fist fight before the season’s out.
No doubt, that particular pairing will make for an even more turbulent locker room environment from time to time, but the Warriors and Cousins also have the luxury of taking their time with his rehabilitation and only bringing him back once he’s fully healthy, which is, of course, a terrifying prospect for the rest of the NBA.