After years of campaigning to be in the Skills Challenge, Kings’ All-Star DeMarcus Cousins likes what he’s seen from the big men as they’ve now won it for the second consecutive season.
New York’s Kristaps Porzingis knocked off Cousins on his way to winning the Skills Challenge. The 7-foot-3 power forward beat Utah small forward Gordon Hayward in the final.
“He knocked my ball out man,” Cousins said after Porzingis eliminating him. “He knocked my shot out. I’m just glad one of the bigs won. It’s bigger than one individual in this; it’s about the bigs winning. We have to defend our crown.”
Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns won last year, Cousins first time in the event.
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“It’s great,” Cousins said. “They’re hating on us bigs, man, but we keep finding a way. We’re proving them wrong, we’re proving our doubters wrong and just showing this game still belongs to the bigs.”
Cousins, however, wouldn’t go as far as to say the big men are taking over the NBA. .
“It’s just a small sample that the game is evolving,” Cousins said. “Bigs are more skilled – not to discredit anyone from the past – but the game is evolving.”
Cousins also could only laugh noting all the Kentucky alumni in the event – Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, John Wall and Cousins – were eliminated in the first round.
“It happens,” he said. “It’s a coincidence.”
Hall of Fame watch – Former Kings star Chris Webber was one of 14 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced Saturday.
Webber made four of his five All-Star appearances while playing for the Kings and was a first-team All-NBA selection in 2001.
Webber, the 1994 Rookie of the Year, played for the Kings beginning with the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season through 2005. After he was acquired in a trade from Washington, Webber helped the Kings become a perennial playoff team and a contender for the NBA championship.
If Webber were elected to the Hall, he’d be the second player from the Sacramento era enshrined, joining Mitch Richmond.