What was it like for UK freshman Nick Richards to play against DeMarcus Cousins?
DeMarcus Cousins, the former Kentucky basketball standout who’s become a force in the NBA, offered some advice to Duke sensation Zion Williamson after the Blue Devil’s injury scare Wednesday night.
Get out of college basketball as soon as possible if that’s what’s best for you.
“Knowing what I know now? College is bull----,” Cousins told a group of media gathered at a Golden State practice on Thursday in a video posted by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “College basketball and the NCAA is bull----. My advice for him is to do what’s best for you and your family.
“College doesn’t really do anything for you at this point. You’ve proven you’re the No. 1 pick coming out. You’ve proven your talent. Get ready for the next level. ... That’s my opinion, knowing what I know now.”
Williamson sprained his right knee in the opening minute of No. 1 Duke’s game against No. 8 North Carolina on Wednesday night as his left basketball shoe blew out causing the massive 6-foot-7 forward to stumble awkwardly to the floor and miss the rest of the game. The injury was described by Duke as a mild knee strain, but many basketball observers say an injury risk to a potential multi-million dollar NBA No. 1 pick is too great for Williamson to continue his freshman season, including Cousins.
“Obviously when I was at that age, you enjoy the moment, you enjoy the experience and all that, but there are so many risks involved to get to the ultimate goal, which is to get to this level,” Cousins said.
Cousins praised his own experience at UK but said the exploitation of college basketball means it might not be right for someone like Williamson who has made a splash in just a few months and can likely only damage his stock from this point forward.
“I loved my experience in college. That was some of the best years of my life playing basketball,” Cousins said. “But that being said, just how crooked the whole NCAA business is — I actually saw a post the other day where, I think, the (lowest) ticket for that UNC-Duke game was $2,500-$3,500 — how much of that does Zion Williamson see? That’s who they’re coming to see. Who does it go to? How does it benefit any player on that team?
“But if they were to get $20 and a free meal, they’re this bad kid. They get a bad rep. They’re uncoachable, thugs, whatever the case may be. It’s bull----. It’s been bull---.”