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DeMarcus Cousins regrets draft workout with Kings: ‘I did more for them than they did for me’

DeMarcus Cousins at Sacramento Kings 2010 Draft Picks Press Conference

SACRAMENTO, CA - JUNE 26: DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings poses during a press conference on June 26, 2010 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

DeMarcus Cousins left the Kings on bitter terms when they traded him (shortly after saying they wouldn’t trade him) in 2017.

His grudge remains.

Cousins (now a Nuggets backup) in a Q&A with Marc J. Spears of Andscape:

If you could go back and change anything, what would you change that might have changed how you’re perceived now? Is there anything where you’re like, “Man, I should’ve just …”

I would’ve skipped my draft workout [in Sacramento].

Why is that?

What did Sac do for me? Besides say my name [draft day]. I did more for them than they did for me. That’s just being honest. Just being 100% honest. I had two owners, three GMs, seven coaches in seven years. I was there seven years. I had three GMs, two owners and seven coaches. Not much more needs to be said.


This is yet another illustration of the draft being anti-labor. Prospects have no direct control over which team will acquire their exclusive negotiating rights. The worst-performing teams get priority. Though Cousins could have tried to dissuade the Kings by not working out for them, they had ultimate say when the No. 5 pick in 2010 came up.

They took Cousins, bringing him into a dysfunctional organization.

He did so much to lift Sacramento. But he’s also culpable for some of his problems there.

Apportioning credit and blame for everything that happened with him in the Kings is difficult – including whether he would’ve matured more on a team with a better culture.

Because of the NBA’s draft system – aided by Cousins’ participation in Sacramento’s pre-draft process – we’ll never know. As much as he wishes for that alternate reality.