July 20, 2018 / 10:46 AM / 10 months ago

Cousins: 'Don't care' about backlash over joining Warriors

Cousins: ‘Don’t care’ about backlash over joining Warriors

Jan 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins isn’t concerned about the public backlash that ensued when news broke of his agreement to join the Golden State Warriors, saying he’s become “numb” to criticism.

“I didn’t really care, honestly,” he told ESPN on Thursday about the outrage from fans on social media. “I don’t really care. ... It trips me out to just see. It’s crazy like how angry people were.”

Many fans have criticized the Warriors — and Cousins, and Kevin Durant — for the perceived lack of parity in the league caused by Golden State’s stockpiling of talent. When Cousins chose to join the team that has won three titles in the last four seasons, there were some players who expressed surprise on social media as well. But Cousins hasn’t sensed any animosity from his NBA peers.

“It’s tweets [from players], but it’s nothing over the top,” he said. “At least, not brought to my knowledge. But, it’s just kind of funny because before the whole thing started, I was just kind of wasted. I was damaged goods, not a winner, just everything negative.

“And soon as it happens, it’s like, ‘He’s too damn good to [be a Warrior].’ So, it’s just kind of funny how the narrative switches right away when things don’t go the way they expect it to.”

Cousins added that several NBA players reached out to him after the news broke, and some — including Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum — tried to change the four-time All-Star center’s mind.

“Shout out to my dog CJ,” Cousins said with a laugh. “I mean, it’s funny of course. ... In a way he was congratulating me, but at the same time he was dead serious [about what I was going to do]. But at the end of the day, I think he understood my situation and kind of where my mindset was with the whole situation.”

Cousins added that he had already spoken with Warriors stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Durant before making his decision. He said, with a laugh, that Green — who mentioned that he and Cousins would probably wind up fighting at some point — “probably had the worst pitch.”

The 27-year-old Cousins, who is coming off of a torn Achilles tendon, also told ESPN he is aware of the negative perception over him, but he’s not worried about it.

“I’m just to the point where I’ve become numb to,” Cousins said. “I’ll put it this way: If you live your life to satisfy every person that critiques you, then you’ll drive yourself crazy. ... I don’t care because anything and everything that’s being said and going on is harmless. I walk around with my head high.

“I’m here to play basketball. I’m here to play at the highest level. I’m here to win games. Everything else will take care of itself. That’s not my concern.”

As to his health, Cousins knows the Warriors won’t rush him back on the court, but he hopes to be in action for the start of the regular season, if not training camp.

“I want to be ready to go the beginning of the season,” he said. “I miss the game. This is what I do. This is what I dreamed of as a kid. So, to be away from the game, it’s hard enough. I’m just ready to be back on the floor.”

—Field Level Media

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