DeMarcus Cousins didn’t know what to expect when he was introduced as a visiting player for the first time in Sacramento.
In the end, Cousins got what every returning King not named Spencer Hawes or Jason Terry receives, and that’s an overwhelming ovation when he was introduced as the starting center for the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday night at Golden 1 Center.
The cheers drowned out the boos that could be heard during pregame introductions in Cousins’ first game in Sacramento since the Kings traded him in February.
The boos became louder quickly, however, when Cousins scored the first points of the game on a dunk. Still, there were still some cheers for Cousins, who was a three-time All-Star in Sacramento.
The cheers grew louder during the first stoppage of play with 7:23 left in the first quarter, when a video tribute to Cousins was played highlighting his play and community work in six-plus seasons with the Kings.
Cousins, a three-time All-Star in Sacramento, acknowledged the standing ovation from many in attendance, including Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive, by raising two fingers in the air.
There was another big ovation in the first quarter for a returning King. Chris Webber was acknowledged with a video tribute while serving as TNT’s color analyst for the nationally televised game.