OAKLAND -- It has been just two weeks since DeMarcus Cousins was cleared for light scrimmaging, and already one of his teammates has gotten under his skin.
Don’t jump to conclusions, though. It was a healthy disgust. This is a good thing.
Cousins’ floor vision and passing ability is surprising some of those with whom he shares the floor during these sessions. And the results, according to one teammate, results in passes that land out of bounds or go the other way.
“In our miniature games that we play, I’ve played with him and he’s hit me with a couple passes I wasn’t expecting,” assistant coach Willie Green said on the Warriors Insider Podcast. “He got mad at me for not catching them, which is fine. But it just lets me know that he can see the floor and can make passes that most people can’t make.
“And that fits into our team concept. We’re a team that likes to pass the ball, likes to make passing plays and shares the ball with everybody and get everybody going offensively.”
Green, who retired in 2015 after 12 years with five different NBA teams, often joins a crew during the scrimmages that are a part of Cousins’ late-stage rehabilitation. The 6-foot-10 center is nine months removed from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon sustained as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
On any given day, Cousins is playing 4-on-4 with, among others, assistant coach and former NBA player Jarron Collins, as well as current Warriors Damian Jones, Jordan Bell, Kevon Looney and Quinn Cook. The idea is to keep the youngsters sharp and get Cousins ready.
Having played with such big men as Chris Webber, Al Horford and DeAndre Jordan during his own career, Green offers a unique perspective on what Cousins will bring to the Warriors.
“The first thing is his IQ,” Green said. “He’s a very intelligent player. He can see the game on both ends of the floor, defensively and offensively. His shooting has gotten better. He has great feel and great touch. He’s a great passer. It’s hard to find all those qualities in a guy his size.”
The Warriors haven't established a timeline for Cousins’ return. The goal is to work him into game condition a couple months before the playoffs begin in April.
“Right now, just watching him, the guy is so talented,” Green said. “It’s amazing how talented he is. He can shoot, he can dribble, he can post up. We’re just trying to work him back in, get him acclimated.
“It’s going to take some time. When the medical staff says he ready to go, he’ll be ready. But right now, we’re still knocking off some rust and getting him ready.”
Meanwhile, Cousins should keep those passes coming. A “teammate” like Green occasionally might have trouble handling them, but most members of the Warriors will grasp them just fine.