Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins is training with Team USA for the Olympic Games next month in Brazil and he’s also living a dream that doesn’t involve winning a gold medal.
Cousins has claimed Carmelo Anthony as his favorite player for years and now he’s not only getting to play alongside Anthony, he’s also learning from him off the court as Jason Jones from the Sacramento Bee reported.
“I enjoy being around him,” Cousins told Jones. “He’s got so so much experience in this game. It’s well known that I’ve been a Melo fan my whole life. Just to be able to work with him daily is going to help me become a better player. I’m excited for it.”
Cousins has developed into one of the better big men in the NBA during his six years in the league after spending the 2009-10 season in Lexington wearing Kentucky blue. He also has had his share of run-ins with coaches, fellow players and officials in the league and Anthony is hopeful Cousins’ most petulant days are behind him.
“I’m getting a chance to really get to know him as a person – forget about basketball,” Anthony told the Sacramento Bee. “To be honest, I think there’s a big misconception about DeMarcus. I think sometimes, it’s situational things. Does he need to relax a little bit sometimes? I told him that. Over the years, I’ve seen him get better and better with that. We all kind of go through that.”
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski also says he has seen growth in Cousins since they last worked together. He credited Cousins for investing more on the defensive end and in the team as the Olympics approach.