Friday’s All-Star Game media gathering at the Ritz Carlton was rather mundane for the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins.
The questions were simple:
▪ Will the Kings make the playoffs? “Yes .... we’ll make a run.”
▪ Who are your favorite All-Stars of all time? (See below.)
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▪ What’s on the menu this weekend? “Crawfish.”
It couldn’t have been easier in The Big Easy for Cousins, who is making his third consecutive trip to the NBA’s showcase game.
“This is a first,” Cousins said with a laugh. “So yes, keep those questions coming. I appreciate that.”
His first two All-Star media sessions weren’t quite so easy.
In his first All-Star appearance in New York in 2015, Cousins was flooded with questions about his thoughts on George Karl, who had been hired as the Kings’ coach during the All-Star break. It made for some uncomfortable moments, considering Cousins had never met Karl.
Last year in Toronto, Cousins fielded several questions about his relationship with Karl and why the coach had not been fired.
The third time was the charm for Cousins, who wrapped up his media session with a game of rock, paper, scissors.
Getting defensive – Cousins said Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan’s appearance on the All-Star team is “overdue.” But because offense drives the NBA, Cousins wasn’t surprised it took so long.
Jordan was named first-team All-NBA last season, even though he did not make the Western Conference All-Star team. He’s averaging just 12.0 points but shooting 69.5 percent (first in the league), 13.8 rebounds (tied for second) and 1.7 blocks. He’s usually an All-Defensive first- or second-team selection.
So you don’t have to score a ton of points to be an All-Star.
“For me especially, being more of a defensive guy, it’s cool to be in the same room as these guys,” Jordan said. “I look up to guys like (former stars) Ben Wallace, Dennis Rodman doing things like that.”
All-time five – Cousins was asked to name his all-time All-Star team, excluding himself.
Cousins chose Magic Johnson at point guard, Michael Jordan at shooting guard , LeBron James at small forward, Kevin Garnett at power foward (over Tim Duncan) and Shaquille O’Neal at center.
“I’m rolling with KG,” Cousins sad. “No disrespect to Timmy.”
No shows – James, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers missed media availability for various reasons. James was tending to personal matters, and Young, who will participate in the 3-Point Shootout Saturday, had travel issues.
Anthony was added to the team on Thursday, replacing injured Kevin Love of the Cavaliers, and had not made arrangements to travel to New Orleans.