Cousins adjusting to international game

BILBAO, SPAIN — The nuances of the international game and the NBA are vastly different, particularly for big men like DeMarcus Cousins.

The way he operates for the Sacramento Kings, as a dominant low-post scorer who serves as the No. 1 offensive option for his team, doesn’t apply here in the FIBA World Cup. Cousins is basically the third big man, behind starters Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried. And he’s being asked to play both ends and play much faster than he’s used to.

Give Cousins credit for acknowledging the work in progress that he is right now. It can’t be easy for a player of his caliber to make these sort of adjustments on the fly. There’s a pride factor involved as well or a player used to dominating opposing big men in the NBA, but now facing a completely different player in some of these international big men who stretch the floor beyond the 3-point line.

“It’s been different, something I’m not really used to,” Cousins said. “It’s definitely taking some time. I’m busting my butt trying to get into the flow of things and get used to this style of play.

Davis and Faried look like naturals, but they aren’t being asked to do anything than different from what they do for their NBA teams. They’re used to running the floor and excelling in transition. Davis has extensive experience with the National Team, having already been through high level competition at the London Olympics in 2012.

Other NBA big men in the tournament like Pau and Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka of Spain, Omer Asik of Turkey and several others, were raised on this style. They can make adjustments naturally, having had to do so for years.

The tempo and style here, however, is quicker than Cousins is accustomed to.

“The speed of it, the way we’re playing,” Cousins said of the biggest difference. “It’s a lot that comes in to it. Like I said, I’m busting my butt trying to getting into the flow of things. All I can do is keep working.”


  1. Ladyshakalaka says:

    I love cousins game he is so talented and truly seems to harved matured. He is playing great

  2. Brick says:

    Well, in 13min/gm he’s averaging 9.2pts 5.0reb 1.8stl on 71.4% shooting thus far. So let’s see, little quick math says that FIBA games are 40 minutes long, so he’s going at a pace of about 28pts 15reb 6stl on 71% shooting per complete game?

    Hate to see what he does after he does figure it out.

  3. Don't ever CLICK MY NAME AS WELL!!!! says:


  4. Don't ever CLICK MY NAME AS WELL!!!! says:

    Previous teams were wayyyyyyy better!!!

  5. kobefanjay says:

    makes no sense…why is play different? if they ran offensive sets for him like in sacramento it would just be the same…are you suggesting that people in international play can just automatically stop low post play? people choose to play a certain way at FIBA …there is no game withut people playing it and the players and coaches can play how they want…the play just ENDS up being the way you are describing…there is nothing set in this universe…

  6. allaroundballer says:

    The best part is that he’ll be more mature. Now the fourth center likely having DNP for all the rest games. So much for preparing against spain. Coach k always say that he’ll take it game by game. But the four centers are clearly for the final vs spain

  7. harriethehawk says:

    Cousins will make All-Star this season, and his role here has helped him to propel into this category as well as the Kings will have a great (better) year. Go Cousins! Looking good!