Before ballers started faking college for 15 minutes before going pro, I actually looked forward to the NBA Draft. Now only hoops junkies with an Armenian translator on retainer care about the process.
But this year, thanks to DeMarcus Cousins, is different.
Cousins is the first guy in a looong time to actually bring some genuine intrigue to the NBA Draft. Why? Because though he’s a top talent, he’s also a major league a-hole. Just ask his teammate at Kentucky, Daniel Orton.
Orton, while at the NBA Draft Combine yesterday in Chicago, said of Cousins:
“It’s kind of like watching a little kid throw a temper tantrum. But it’s a big little kid, so you’ve got to kind of control him before he gets way out of hand. He might hurt somebody, to tell you the truth. You definitely get out of the way if you can’t handle him, if you can’t stop him. One time I tried holding him back, and that was a mistake. I think he put a swim move on me.”
It was also fun watching Cousins throw his coach John Calipari under the bus yesterday while he talked to reporters in Chicago. (5:50 of interview.)
“Playing for Cal is very tough. Everybody knows that, but you have to play through it.”
When asked if he’d want to play for Calipari in the NBA, Cousins said, “I’m not answering that.”
Cousins was chuckling with reporters as he said that about his former UK coach, but it’s clear he was serious.
With those sort of comments, and his constants blowups at Kentucky last season, there’s already conjecture in the media that Cousins might fall off a cliff in the first round.
That’s unlikely though, with Cousins a lock for the lottery and current pegged as the fourth overall selection by Minnesota - according to NBA Draft Express.
Very bad news for those of us here in Los Angeles, so it’s time to invoke the ghost of Elgin Baylor. The Clippers pick eighth and I can’t tell you what I’d do to have Cousins local. In fact, I’ve already got one of Donald Sterling’s rent-controlled efficiencies picked out for D.C.
Wait, he’s black. Never mind.