OK, so this DeMarcus Cousins/Derrick Rose situation has been blown way out of proportion. The whole incident began late Tuesday when I approached Cousins, who was seated alone in the locker room after missing the Kings-Thunder game with a sore ankle, and asked if he planned to play Friday against the Lakers.
We were having a casual conversation; this wasn’t an interview. I mentioned that Kobe Bryant was expected to return following an eight-month recovery from Achilles surgery, adding another layer to an always entertaining rivalry. Cousins laughed.
“Kobe’s not the story,” he joked. “The big story is my return. Maybe I’ll get a commercial out of it.”
We chatted a few more minutes .... about Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Derrick Rose was never mentioned. If anything, I interpreted Cousins’ comments as a humorous reference to the number of professional athletes (including Robert Griffin III) who through the years have used their comebacks as themes for their commercials. Kobe’s own new sneaker commercial that was released Wednesday, by the way, features an image of stitches at the back of the shoe - an obvious reference to the surgery on his left Achilles.
Cousins’ subsequent comments to other reporters probably created the confusion. When again asked if he was playing Friday, he wisecracked, his voice booming as he walked out the door, “Probably not. I think I’ll be out the rest of the season and I can get a comeback commercial.”
His closing remarks could be interpreted as a reference to Rose, who sat out the 2012-13 season with an ACL tear, but when placed in context, could have been nothing more than this: Cousins thinking about the fact he has missed only three games to injury or illness in three-plus seasons - an anamoly in a league that continues to lose several of its top players to injuries for extended periods. Alerted that his words were generating a buzz on twitter, he has been responding with tweets and texts in hopes of changing the subject.
Worst of all? Kobe canceled. He has postponed his 2013-14 debut indefinitely.
I feel really bad that DeMarcus Cousins is being accused of slamming Derrick Rose. I dont think anyone who heard him say it took it that way— Sean Cunningham (@News10Sean) December 4, 2013
Call The Bee’s Ailene Voisin, (916) 321-1208.