Leading Off

Leading Off: Cousins making name for himself – patriot

Many words have been used to describe DeMarcus Cousins in this space.

Immature.

Selfish.

Bully.

We’ll stop there, otherwise we’ll run out of space really fast.

But one word that’s never been used to characterize the Kings center? Patriot.

That’s right.

DeMarcus Cousins, Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Cousins is working hard this offseason to make the United States’ men’s basketball team that will begin play later this month in the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Nothing seems more important to Cousins than wearing the red, white and blue uniform with “USA” stitched across his chest – playing side-by-side with some of the best players in the NBA against international competition. It’s his first official shot at the national team after twice being a member of the U.S. Select Team, which scrimmages against the big boys.

Even if he doesn’t make the squad, he told The Bee’s Ailene Voisin he’ll keep coming back until he does.

If you’re a Kings fan, you want Cousins on the U.S. roster now. You want him learning as much as he can from U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski about the fundamentals of the game, about running the court, about emphasizing team and individual defense as much as offense.

You want Cousins playing under the wing of Kevin Durant, a true team leader whose actions and words guide a team instead of tearing it apart.

You want Cousins to bring all this experience and knowledge back to Sacramento, where he can put it to good use for the Kings.

He might even have a medal to show off.

– Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


Today’s poll

What would most benefit DeMarcus Cousins making the U.S. men’s team?

• Being coached by Mike Krzyzewski.



• Learning from Kevin Durant.



• More national exposure.



To vote, go to sacbee.com/sports


Monday’s results

Will Tiger Woods win another major golf

tournament?

• Yes: 37%



• No: 63%



Total votes: 90


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