Monday was the day that DeMarcus Cousins’ four-year, $62 million contract extension with the Sacramento Kings became official, and the Kings held a press conference announcing the deal.
One does not have to read the quotes from the press conference in a detailed manner to figure out a core theme: the Kings are counting on Cousins to be the leader of the team.
“He has an understanding of the game that is truly unique,” said new owner Vivek Ranadive. “The only thing I said to him is, ‘DeMarcus, I just want one thing from you. I want you to be the first guy in and the last guy out, because you’re going to be the leader of this organization.’ He’s done that. You see how great he looks right now. We’re really excited to start the season and start training camp.”
General manager Pete D’Alessandro echoed Ranadive’s thoughts.
“I think the process was seamless,” he said. “DeMarcus came in over a month ago, on his own, and just worked so hard and led our guys. We’ve had voluntary workouts – it’s been incredible. It’s a testament to our coaching staff. They really put this environment to bring people in … but DeMarcus led the way.”
Cousins averaged 20.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game in 75 games last season, and is one of the best young centers in the game.
“I usually have a lot to say, but I’m short on words today,” said Cousins. “I’m extremely happy. I like where this organization is going, I believe in it, I’m glad they believe in me (and) I’m glad they gave me this chance to prove (myself) to them and this team.”
In his closing statement, Cousins announced that he would be donating $1 million to families in Sacramento who are in need, showing that he is indeed embracing his role as a leader both on and off the court.