In this second of our 4 part exclusive, Sacramento Kings’s Big Man DeMarcus Cousins, after discussing his growing up years in part I, Cousins reveals the secret behind his nicknames ‘Boogie’ and ‘DMC’, the perks of playing with future NBA picks John Wall and Eric Bledsoe at the University of Kentucky. We also question him about his temperament issues in his early NBA career and how he views his role today at the King’s franchise…
5. It is said that John Calipari’s decision to coach the Kentucky basketball team was your reason to choose University of Kentucky over UAB. How did that one-year at Kentucky playing under Coach Calipari and playing with the fantastic 2009-10 Kentucky team, that included John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson (all who have become valuable contributors to top teams in the NBA), help you prepare for the NBA game?
The year I spent playing NCAA basketball at the University of Kentucky was a year where I not only grew my skills but also learned the true stamina required to play professionally. I committed to Kentucky to play under Coach Calipari, who is still a mentor to this day. He was always treating all the players like a family, but allowed us to grow into men who could compete in the NBA. I look back at my time at Kentucky all the time. Those fans are crazy about basketball!
6. How did you get the nickname ‘Boogie’? The Kings fans also call you ‘DMC’. Which nickname do you prefer?
While at Kentucky, Coach Rod Strickland one day said, “Man, you got a lot of Boogie.” After that, every time he saw me he called out Boogie and it just stuck. DMC sort of just stuck right when I got drafted. I love both. All the UK fans call me by Big Cuz to this day.
7. People say that your temperament was your weakness in your first few seasons. Now, you’ve matured and you’ve had a great start to the season. How did you bring about this transformation?
I am learning how to handle situations better from my time in the NBA and experience with Team USA. I am also continuing to challenge myself more and I of course am now the leader of this team so I have to set the example.
8. This is your fifth season in the NBA and with the Kings. Do you view yourself as the leader of this Sacramento Kings team?
I consider myself the leader of this team, and I take all responsibility that comes with it and strive to be the best leader I can be.
Part III coming soon…
*To vote for DeMarcus Cousins into the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, post the following status update on Facebook or Twitter: DeMarcus Cousins #nbaballot