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Cousins calls USA Select Team experience “political”

Oct 1, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT

DeMarcus Cousins AP

DeMarcus Cousins had a bumpy time as a member of the USA Select Team this summer, playing against the London Olympians during training camp.

He got called out publicly by USA basketball president Jerry Colangelo for being too physical in scrimmages against the stars. I’ll add that I was in Vegas and Colangelo wasn’t the only one saying it. Kobe Bryant said that when Cousins keeps his head down and focuses on his game he is fine but when he lets his emotions get the best of him things go wrong.

Cousins wasn’t keeping his head down in an interview with Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. Cousins was the full, unfiltered Cousins through the entire interview, including when Amick asked him if he enjoyed his time with Team USA.

“I didn’t enjoy it,” he said of the experience. “I went out there, and … I’m not going to say I didn’t learn anything from it, because I did. But it was just, in my mind, another political battle. I learned more about politics. I saw the work ethic of the so-called elite in the league, and I took some notes from that and took that back with me. But as far as the rest of it? No.

“Honestly, the scrimmages were one-sided the whole time. To even have a chance, you had to play hard as hell. We were out there getting our heads knocked off, and if they’re going to play physical, then I’m going to play physical back. I’m not out there trying to start fights — just trying to stand on my own. But I guess the ignorance of people is they take it as being immature.”

Of course the scrimmages were one-sided, did you see the Team USA lineup? LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul and you bring guys like Carmelo Anthony off the bench? The Select Team isn’t going to win those games, but they are going to put up the best fight the Olympians were going to face until the Spain game. But these are still your teammates, so you play within certain bounds of convention — nobody wants to see anybody hurt.

Anthony Davis ended up being put on the Olympic team, Cousins was not.

Cousins couldn’t adjust. His emotions got the best of him.

We’ll see how much he learned from that as we move ahead into the new season where he will be the heart of the Kings.

  1. jeanmutarambirw - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Reblogged this on jeanmutarambirwa and commented:
    wat up

  2. dondada10 - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    A veteran team should be bullish and try to nab either Tyreke Evans or Cousins from the Kings. Those two can’t co-exist.

  3. rajbais - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Cousins is not the Closest thing to perfect, but he showed us why Jerry Colangelo needs To step down as team USA President!!! I’m sorry, but the cliché “a win is a win” is not acceptable for “Dream Team” standards. In the gold-medal game we played as if we were going to lose and the best dream teams had everybody that was capable of scoring in double figures and as much possible within their timeframe.

    Plus, Anthony Davis shows us why college players are not fit for Olympic competition. He barely got on the floor and he is not an avid enough of a scorer yet. It’s possible that he may never be and To think that perimeter and wing players were able to defeat big men like the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka of Spain Was something that could have been figured out before 1950.

    • 24thesho - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Colangelo needs to go; his “politics” (well, that b.s.) almost lost us the Gold by choosing some all stars who think that they’re better than they really are, namely C. Paul and D. Williams. That’s why (I believe) Coach K is not returning as head coach for the next Olyimpics. Cousin would have balanced out or neutralized some of Spain’s and Argentina’s boneheads at certain times.

      • rajbais - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:22 AM

        Thank you!!! Welcome to the good side!!!

    • cmehustle - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Wow! So Coangelo needs to step down? Ok so how many times have team USA won gold since he’s been president? I believe its been 100%. And before he took over we had a bronze medal. So Im pretty sure he might know a little bit more than you about putting together a basketball squad.

      • rajbais - Oct 6, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        Shut up jerk!!!

        The scoring margins are worse than they were in 1992 and 1996!!! Colangelo was not there in either of those two years!!!!

        Go to USAbasketball.com and check all the box scores!!! I saw the scoring margins for all of those Olympiad battles and the 2012 ones PALE in comparison!!!!!

        BTW, how did the 2006 World Championships go???? LACK OF 100% SCORERS = LACK OF DOMINANCE = SUBPAR RESULTS vs. 1992 and 1996 teams!!! Also you’re an idiot when you let the owner who comes after you in Phoenix employ your own son!!! Let the son run the team!!! Then he won’t have to go to Toronto!!!!! I wouldn’t have done that!!!

        Robert Sarver is no part of the Colangelo Family!!!

        Colangelo only had a few great teams in Phoenix!!! One Western Conference title, no Larry O’Brien Trophies!!!

        SOME ARCHITECT!!!!

  4. opinevain - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Cousins has always had emotional issues that’s why its difficult to consider him a all-star though he produces.

    • 24thesho - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      P-leease!

  5. itsonlyaspeedbump - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Curious. A couple days ago KG, at a grown-man 30+ years old, got a lot of praise from people for “losing” Ray Allen’s phone #. Many call that ‘competitive fire.’

    Cousins, barely out of high school, decides that he is going to play hard, in an actual practice, to help the Olympic team win a gold medal. Many call this ‘immature’ and ‘thug’.

    Next time a pro athlete complains about being unfairly labeled, ima have to listen to him.

    • money2long - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      cousins does his work by being physical. he aint the blake griffin type. he mixes in skill with intimidation. he won’t fly over you like an amare or dwight. but he will bully you in the post for his buckets. i like his style of play. he needs to control himself because there are those player who were masters at honing their emotions on the to perform at insane levels (jordan, kobe) and there are those who will find out too much emotion can be a detriment because they can’t channel it in the correct manner and end up hurting their games more than helping.

  6. stoudemelo - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Cousins is an idiot. “To have a chance you had to play hard as hell”

    What do you do during the NBA season half effort?

    • 24thesho - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      Your comment is so weeeeaaak!

  7. jimsjam33 - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Political ? Here’s one of those players that if he was not playing basketball could only find a job as a light bulb changer .

  8. papichulo55 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Not sure of the objection to “political”. Cousins has reached a level of professional sports that most of us can never dream about. If he thinks that his chances of earning a spot on the US Olympic Team was non-existent due to politics, he has that privilege. Was that the reason that he wasnt chosen? Probably not the full reason, but it was clear that we needed one more Big. I can understand how a competitve person can be profoundly disappointed when they feel they were denied a real chance to compete. Bottom line is that Cousins only said what even us outsiders know for fact. The selection process IS political! There is no other explanation for Isiah Thomas being denied his place in history as a member of the original Dream Team. Again, not saying that Cousins not making the team was an outrageous miscarriage of justice, equal to Isiah. Just saying that Cousins has a right to voice his opinion without being labled as “another stupid athlete”. He knows his profession better than we do.

  9. nickmiller63 - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    stoudemelo: I think you missed the point. He is saying that being criticized for playing hard is wrong, since that is all he could do if he wanted to make the team. And he was criticized for playing hard.

  10. cmehustle - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Listen, calm down every one. Cousins will be on the next three dream team rosters. At least if they continue with the pros. Just got to wait his turn like everyone else. He is going to be the NBA’s next dominant big and anyone who watches bball knows it.

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