New Orleans hosted the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, and then stole headlines away from the festivities just as the game was ending on Sunday night, when the Pelicans agreed to terms with the Sacramento Kings on a deal that would keep three-time All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in The Big Easy for good.
News of the trade, reported by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, came down around the same time players were set to meet with the press for postgame interviews. Naturally, a crowd gathered around a confused Cousins, who learned of the deal somewhat awkwardly in front of an anxious media horde.
As a public relations representative asked for “All-Star questions first,” Cousins wondered, “What other questions we got?” Then, the PR rep whispered news of the deal in the 26-year-old’s ear and left it up to him to decide whether he wanted to answer inquiries about the trade or take time to process it.
Considering he was sitting in front of a whole host of cameras, it was a little late for processing quiet introspection of this life-changing move, so Cousins simply responded, “Oh, really? It’s whatever.”
Reporters, of course, captured the entire exchange on video:
— Manny Vieites (@manny_vieites) February 20, 2017
A native of Mobile, Ala., who often traveled to New Orleans, he didn’t seem to mind processing the trade as he spoke about it, and he was downright giddy at the prospect of playing for the Pelicans.
“I love it here in New Orleans,” Cousins told reporters after his West won a defenseless All-Star Game, 192-182, via The Sacramento Bee. I’ve been here a lot as a kid, so I’m kind of familiar to the city. I had fun here.”
And there might have even been some relief, after years of trade speculation, that it was finally over:
“Man, give it a break,” he added. “I just need one All-Star where it’s just All-Star questions, man. Just one. This is the third one, and it’s always been something.”
But there was still some confusion as to whether it was all over. Cousins hadn’t talked to his agent or anybody in the Sacramento front office. Considering Wojnarowski’s report increased with fervor over the course of the game and reached a resolution just afterwards, it’s rather unbelievable that anybody could have sent Cousins out to meet the media before at least making him aware of the reported trade.
“Whatever happens, happens,” he said, and he didn’t have another choice. At least he was used to it.
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