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DeMarcus Cousins: Calipari pushed me to go pro

Apr 16, 2010, 1:08 PM EDT

It was evident very early in the season that DeMarcus Cousins should go pro. I tuned into an early-season Kentucky game to see what all the John Wall hype was about and was quickly thinking, “who is this Cousins and how can the Lakers get him?” (Hey, I grew up a Lakers fan, what about it?)

Apparently Kentucky coach John Calipari was thinking the same thing. Not about the Lakers, but about Cousins being ready for the next level, something Cousins explained at his press conference announcing he was going pro.

While Calipari didn’t answer questions on Thursday, Cousins said Calipari practically ordered him to enter the draft.

“He told me it’s my time to go,” Cousins said, then nodded his head vigorously later when a reporter asked if Calipari “pushed” him out.

If you’re a college coach playing the big-time, one-and-done recruit game, then you have to be honest with them. While for a guy like Butler’s Gordon Hayward might have to think through a decision to go pro, for a top-five pick like Cousins it is a no-brainer. And the coach has to be honest with the player about that, or quickly word will spread to other top recruits.

So Cousins is following his coach’s advice. Somehow Calipari will survive.

  1. George - Apr 16, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    I still remember Rick James (coach of the Texas Longhorns) getting annoyed that Durant was leaving…basically saying he needs more time. Pt is, not all coaches have the player’s best interests in mind.

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