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DeMarcus Cousins described Maloof-era Kings as “an AAU team.”

Nov 1, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT

DeMarcus Cousins AP

Wednesday night’s Sacramento Kings home opener wasn’t your standard home opener — it was a celebration of a team and the community that came together and fought to keep them. It was a celebration of all things Sacramento and the new owners there, Vivek Randive and his team.

The game was broadcast locally (without commercials) on News10, and they interviewed DeMarcus Cousins — who had his filter off when asked about he Maloof ownership (via SI’s The Point Forward):

“It felt like an AAU team. Everything [critics] were saying before, I believe it’s true. We were the worst. We weren’t building for the future, we were just living in the moment. That’s why we were that bad. … Honestly, I feel like I wasted time. I hate the fact that it took everything we went through to get to this. I guess you could say it makes that much better.”

What was great about the Kings event was that it looked forward — the focus was on building a new future, from the team on the court to the new building in downtown. While Cousins was Cousins, there were not a lot of looking back and taking shots at the Maloofs (who early on were good owners but mismanaged the business long term).

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Basketball league tonight (Friday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $3,500. Starts at 7pm ET. Here’s the link.

Plus, the Kings beat the Nuggets 90-88. Cousins was in beast mode and dropped 30. It was a great night.

Check out the opening ceremony from the Kings’ first game this season.

  1. cbking05 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Great player

  2. thestilt - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    He would know. He played on an AAU team most of his life, including college.

  3. azarkhan - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    From 1998 to 2006, the years that Rick Adelman coached the Kings (and the Maloof brothers were the owners), they were one of the better teams in the NBA. If you had compared them to an AAU team back then, you would have been told to take your meds. Unfortunately for the Kings, the Western Conference was loaded with great teams like the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks and Suns, so they never made it to the Finals.

    • redbaronx - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      azarkhan – 1998 to 2006 doesn’t excuse the Maloofs for their total lack of management and the sorry shape they left the franchise in. They nearly destroyed the Kings along with the rest of the fortune their father left to them with poor business deals.

      And let’s not say “unfortunately for the Kings the Western Conference was loaded”. The Kings were ranked higher than the Lakers in the Lakers first banner season (and the year before), and if it wasn’t for a couple of bad plays, you would have seen the Kings in the Finals instead of the Lakers at least once. They had a great run. Sometimes it’s just bad luck.

      • azarkhan - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Thanks, but I’ll stick with what I wrote. As for the Kings being “ranked higher than the Lakers”, that just shows how wrong some people can be. The Lakers had two first ballot HOFers in Shaq and Kobe and two more possible HOFers in Horry and Fisher. Not one of the Kings will even be considered for the HOF.

      • redbaronx - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        @azarkhan – I’m a life long NBA fan and I remember that going into the 2000 season after the Spurs won in 1999, the #1 pick for coming out of the West was the Kings.

        It’s easy to say today “Shaq and Kobe are first ballot HOF’ers”, but at the time, it wasn’t clear at all that the Lakers would be potential champions that year, or even the Western representative in the Finals.

      • casualcommenter - Nov 1, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        “As for the Kings being “ranked higher than the Lakers”, that just shows how wrong some people can be.”

        Let me guess – you didn’t really watch basketball back in the 1990’s, but you heard about the Kings being good?

        Well, I suggest you look up the conference standings for those years. The win-loss totals of the Kings vs. the Lakers may surprise you.

      • redbaronx - Nov 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        @casualcommenter – I don’t need to look at the standings. I WATCHED those games, and I’m old enough to remember going back to the 80’s….standings at the END of a season don’t mean squat. Go look at Sports Illustrated or ESPN to see who they had winning in the West after the Spurs won in 1999. Then come back here…

  4. dhalb34 - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    That Robert Horry three at the buzzer in game six vs the Lakers still haunts me…Damn it!

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      And on the other side, still one of my favorite plays 😉

      Those were some hard fought series all around.

  5. cdt3000 - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    The Maloofs had the same GM Petrie who built built the very tall and explosive one coach teams like Adelman Kings to compete with the Phil’s Lakers. And Petrie/ Adelman’s Portland team that lost to Phil Jackson’s MJ in the title game with the same recipe.
    Petrie followed the same playoff recipe of tall explosive teams one coach team with guys like Donte Green/Thompson/Hawes/Martin/Evans that was a huge athletic future scoring monster and eventually playoffs competitor. But the Maloofs’ wanted it NOW did not have the patience to follow the rebuilding recipe the saw work firing 6 of Petrie’s coaches since Adelman.

  6. saint1997 - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    If McLemore develops I’m optimistic for this team. They need to trade their 1-2 logjam but if they draft a strong 3 (Parker) or 4 (Randle) things are looking up

  7. indianbob - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Remember the ref scandal too!

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