The Golden State Warriors frustrated DeMarcus Cousins into one of his worst games of the season on Sunday night. The Sacramento Kings’ star big man went 4-for-11 from the field, scoring only 17 points and turning it over seven times in 29 foul-plagued minutes.
But the off night doesn’t mar what has been a fantastic season, on the court, for Cousins, despite constant scrutiny and distractions off of it. The former University of Kentucky star is averaging 28.1 points and 10.0 rebounds and is in the conversation for the best big man in basketball, along with Marc Gasol and Anthony Davis, among others.
But Warriors forward Draymond Green says it’s not a conversation.
“He’s the best center in the game,” Green said. “Best big man in the game. Period.”
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Green played with Cousins on the Olympic team this past summer and seems to sympathize with Cousins’ sometimes volatile ways.
“I think a lot of times people don’t give him that credit,” Green said. “And a part of it is they try to downplay his status because of his reputation or getting technical fouls or things like that. He is the best big man in the game hands down. He’s always really had the midrange, he’s taking guys off the dribble, he’s pushing it full court, getting to the hole, getting and-1s, go to the post. He’s dominant. He’s an incredible player, and he continues to get better year in and year out, regardless of what credit people try to take from him, try not necessarily give him.”
In the second quarter on Saturday, after arguing a third foul call, Cousins stormed to the bench and then kicked and punched a chair, earning his league-leading 12th technical of the season. As Steph Curry shot the technical free throw, Green wandered over to the Kings bench to give Cousins some grief for the tantrum.
“Had a couple words for him,” Green smiled.
Has Green, the owner of seven technicals this season, ever kicked a chair in frustration?
“Nah, I ain’t kicking no chair,” Green said. “I like my foot in one piece.”