DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings shoots against the Chicago Bulls on November 20, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings shoots against the Chicago Bulls on November 20, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Image courtesy: Sacramento Kings Organisation.

In part III of our 4 part exclusive, Sacramento Kings’s Big Man DeMarcus Cousins discusses the hot start this season, subsequent dismissal of head coach Mike Malone, the pride he feels in representing Team USA and the comparisons with the Laker’s legendary centre Shaquille O’Neal.

  1. The Kings had a hot start to the season with a 5-1 record. Recently, however, after your bout with viral meningitis and especially after the dismissal of Mike Malone as head coach, the Kings have gone on a downward spiral. How do you think the change in the coaching staff has affected the Kings play?

We are moving past the past and working towards a winning future. I have full trust in the future of the organization. Anytime you change a coach it’s going to affect the way we play so we are definitely still a work in process. There is still a lot of season left which is the good news.

  1. How do you compare the experience of playing for a ball club as opposed to representing your country?

Playing for the league is great of course, but playing on an international platform representing your country is an honor. The patriotism and pride you feel is crazy. Everyone on that team was playing for one country and one goal.  Team USA experience has helped me appreciate how much pride I have in playing for the city of Sacramento as well.  It’s a great city and has the best fans in the world. Wish Sacramento would get more credit but I’m trying to change that.

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  1. You have the potential to transform the power forward/ center position in the NBA. Despite your size, you have great ball handling skills and shooting touch, while at the same time, people have referred to you as the “most unstoppable inside force” since Shaquille O’Neal.  What do you think of that comparison and how would you describe your style of play?

Shaq is a legend and one of the greatest big men in the league. Being compared to him means a lot to me. I hope to continue to show the levels of skill and play that will keep people comparing me to him. I respect Shaq a lot and strive to achieve what he has on and off the court.

Final Part IV 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

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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