Seven years have passed since John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins roamed the campus of the University of Kentucky as the two standout stars on John Calipari's 2009-10 Wildcats. And in that time the two have squared off twice a year in the NBA ranks, Wall as a point guard for the Wizards and Cousins a center for the Sacramento Kings.
Though it has been seven years, and though they have now been counterparts for so long, the friendship between Wall and Cousins remains strong as they head into yet another showdown on Monday night at the Verizon Center (6:30 p.m. on CSN).
"We talk all the time. Me, him and Eric [Bledsoe], we're always on group chats and always talking," Wall said. "We're checking up on each other. Whenever I'm not playing and those guys are playing, I'm always watching their games. Like last night, I watched both of them play. It's just something I like to do."
Wall pays close attention to Cousins, who at 26 is off to a terrific start with 28.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. A two-time All-Star, Cousins continues to get better, Wall has noticed.
Cousins is currently shooting 40.8 percent from three on 4.2 attempts per game. At 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, that makes him an even more difficult matchup than before.
"He's shooting the three better," Wall said. "It stretches you out and makes you do coverages that you don't want to do. But you have to make that adjustment. You've gotta do a better job of guarding your man and getting back in front of the basketball before those guys attack the basket. Just do the best you can. Marcin [Gortat], or whoever is guarding him, they aren't going to guard him one-on-one. We the other guys have to be there to help him out."
Wall and Cousins will go at it once again on Monday night and Wall is looking forward to it.
"It's always fun," Wall said. "He's my brother. But when we compete, when we get in between those lines, everything goes out the window. We're going to try to get the best out of each other. I know he's going to be physical. He's going to talk a little trash, I will talk a little trash. Hopefully we come out with the win."