Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins was rumored to be facing the possibility of being beaten out for a spot on Team USA by Mason Plumlee. On Thursday, Cousins spoke with the Sacramento Bee before the reports surfaced (actually at the same time -- Cousins was shown tweets about the reports while the interview was taking place). He talked about how much the opportunity means to him.
Have you heard anything about your chances?
Nothing. They don't really tell us much. I saw Coach K in the elevator, but we just chatted.
How disappointed would you be if you don't make the team?
I would be crushed. Everyone knows how much I want to do this. This is my third year here (two with Select Team), and I don't run from any challenge. I would be crushed, but I'm not a quitter. I would come back and try again.
Cousins is often criticized for his attitude, which is thought to be the culprit with his Team USA problems, along with defensive struggles. But he clearly wants to be a part of Team USA badly, especially to say he would come back after being cut twice. But the coaching staff's response would probably be that if he's that serious about wanting to be a part of the team that he needs to play like it. That means playing better defense, something Cousins admits in the interview he needs to improve on.
Initial cuts have been postponed in the wake of Paul George's traumatic injury. We'll have to see if Cousins' scrimmage performance, before it was cut short following George's injury, will earn him a spot. Cousins was active on the glass and attacked offensively, but still didn't show much defensively. Anthony Davis is considered the favorite to play starting center.