DALLAS -- DeMarcus Cousins had heard all the reasons he shouldnt be an All-Star, mainly that he had been impressive on a bad team, so Thursdays news that he didnt make the squad was not a shock.
Not at all, Cousins said before the Kings played the Dallas Mavericks on Friday at American Airlines Center. It is what it is Im not surprised.
Entering the game, Cousins ranked 10th overall and first among centers with 22.6 points per game to go with 11.6 rebounds.
Only two other players, All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love, average at least 22 points and 11 rebounds.
But that wasnt enough to impress coaches who selected no players in the West from losing teams as reserves.
(Cousins) realizes that when we become a winning team, his chances of making it become that much better, said Kings coach Michael Malone. Its unfortunate that they hold that against him, but they do.
Many coaches prefer players from winning teams, even if their statistics are less impressive or might be aided by better circumstances.
At the end of the day, its an individual stat, Cousins said of selection to the All-Star Game. So when they read you off as an eight-time All-Star, they dont include your teams record. So, like I said, it didnt surprise me at all.
Cousins has missed the last five games with a sprained left ankle, but he and Malone believe how he played before the injury, especially against some of the leagues better teams, warranted a berth in the game.
I feel like Ive played at a high level, Cousins said. Do I feel like I can do better? Absolutely. But I feel like I was pretty deserving of an All-Star spot.
Cousins absence is his longest ever due to injury. The most consecutive games Cousins had missed with an injury was two, last season when he had a thigh bruise.
Cousins urge to get back on the court has delayed the healing. He was injured Jan. 22 in Houston.
I kind of irritated it more by trying to rush myself to come back faster than I should, so that kind of slowed down the process, Cousins said. The swelling has gone down now its a process of dealing with the pain.
Malone said Cousins is doubtful for Saturdays game at San Antonio.
They asked me to just stop putting so much pressure on myself to come back and just let the ankle heal, Cousins said.