DeMarcus Cousins introduced to New Orleans, laments 'the dishonesty' of the Sacramento Kings

Kelly Dwyer

DeMarcus Cousins’ first news conference in New Orleans went exactly as you’d expect. The newest Pelican, traded from Sacramento on Sunday in a deal that shocked the NBA, was winsome, charming, encouraged but not quite excitable in his first meeting with the media on Wednesday.

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Because Cousins is an ex-Sacramento King, however, the former employee of team owner Vivek Ranadive and Kings general manager Vlade Divac couldn’t help but bring up some of the inevitable entanglements that come from freeing oneself from the worst franchise in the NBA.

It wasn’t the worst of transgressions, but Cousins detailed the fact that Divac – who entered Sunday’s All-Star Game reportedly preaching to Boogie’s permanence in Sacramento prior to dealing him before the final oop had been alley’d – was left a tick slow on the phone dial when it came time to relay news of this unexpected move:

Beyond that, though, it was all good cheer:

In moving to the Pelicans, just 2 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the West with only 25 to play, Cousins will be allowed to suit up alongside franchise stud and 2017 NBA All-Star Game MVP Anthony Davis, a fellow Kentucky product who missed out on playing next to Cousins as a Wildcat, but one that will share the same uniform as Boogie following four-plus seasons of battling each other in the Western Conference.

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Cousins was asked if the two had extensive experience working against or in concert with each other:

“We’ve played a lot of pickup ball, played against each other plenty of times, we had our [Team] USA experience, plenty of practices there, so … I can see what [the Pelicans front office] is seeing.”

We all can. The placement of Cousins next to Davis is extraordinary, even removing the borderline astonishing machinations (mostly on Sacramento’s end) that it took to get to this point.

Still, the question of chemistry, function, role and production with Cousins and Davis will be better left answered another day, another month, and likely in another season. One that sits years past the one we’re currently in, ages past the last game that Boogie and Davis actually play together – whether that’s in 2018, or 2028.

“I think we complement each other perfectly, so I’m excited for the opportunity.”

New Orleans general manager Dell Demps refused to characterize the deal, placed not only in a bid to land an All-Star but possibly in a bid to save his career as personnel boss in NOLA, as something that would “define his career,” but all basketball operations chiefs short of Jerry West, Jerry Krause, Pat Riley or Gregg Popovich would be forced into such a declaration. The haul, in Cousins, is that profound.

Even if the Pelicans had been going great guns since before the deal, which New Orleans (a playoff participant just once in the Davis Era) most certainly was not, this ranks as something for your eventual memoir’s paragraph-long description. Dell Demps done defined himself.

For Cousins, the move away from the Kings after a six (and likely seven, prior to the trade)-year professional absence from the postseason couldn’t have come soon enough:

And the elephant in the room? DeMarcus blew it up:

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was quick to remind, laughingly, that New Orleans wanted no part of the mostly-needless tempestuousness that had spurred Cousins on to incur a league-leading 17 technical fouls, pointing out that “we,” on a New Orleans team that features three players with a team-leading TWO technical fouls on the roster, “don’t do that here.”

Cousins didn’t exactly disagree, but he’s still on his “I gotta be me”-tip:

“Being in the position that I’m in right now,” with each pair of technical fouls leading to a game-long suspension for a player working to make the postseason for the first time in his career, “I’m definitely going to have to tone it down a bit. To find that balance, though, I have to remain myself. That’s the way I play, that’s what makes me the player I am.”

Directly after adding that, the New Orleans Pelicans handed DeMarcus Cousins his new jersey:

You can watch the full press conference here:

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!