Ex-Cats

DeMarcus Cousins on the Kings: ‘I should have left when I had the chance’

Herald-Leader Staff Report

Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins stood on the court in the first half of a preseason game against the Grizzlies on Oct. 13, 2017, in Memphis.
Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins stood on the court in the first half of a preseason game against the Grizzlies on Oct. 13, 2017, in Memphis. AP

Former University of Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins told ESPN’s Marc Spears that he wishes he had tried to part ways with the Sacramento Kings earlier in his career.

“My biggest regret, why didn’t I leave when I had the chance?” Cousins said in the interview.

Cousins said that opportunity came in 2015 when the Kings decided to hire George Karl as coach, and that confirmed the rumors at the time that the ex-Cat was counseled to try to play elsewhere.

“I had the chance, but I fought it,” he said. “I wanted to give it a chance. My representatives, they told me I shouldn’t stay. But being, I guess you could say, stubborn and loyal, I wanted to make things work. … I should have left when I had the chance and avoided it all. They told me what would happen.”

Now that has been with the New Orleans Pelicans since last year’s All-Star break, Cousins said he has put the disappointment of being traded behind him.

“All last year, I felt like that’s all it was about. I got traded and ‘he hates Sacramento,’” he said. “And I kind of fed into it. But at the end of the day it’s a business. And, you know, I kind of blame myself for even putting myself at that point. You knew coming in, it’s just a business. How you going to be loyal to something that ain’t loyal to any player that’s ever played this game. I was a fool.”

“I’m excited to play that in front of the fans and see the reaction,” Cousins said about a return to Sacramento. “But as far as it just being like a revenge game … I’m past it. I’m in a good place. I’m happy where I’m at. We got a chance to win. We’re playing for something. So, I’m good.”

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