At the pinnacle of his basketball career, DeMarcus Cousins boasted an impressive skillset and court demeanor that made a strong case for him to be considered the NBA’s top center. During that time, rising stars like Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid were still finding their footing, while Dwight Howard’s athleticism was on the decline, and Anthony Davis had yet to become his teammate.
Regrettably, the promising partnership between Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans never reached its full potential. An achilles tear sidelined Cousins, and he eventually departed for the Golden State Warriors as a free agent.
NBA enthusiasts held their breath when Cousins joined the Los Angeles Lakers, eager to see what this dynamic duo could accomplish. Sadly, misfortune struck once more as Cousins suffered an ACL tear before setting foot on the court in purple and gold. Despite later making valuable contributions to several playoff-bound teams after his recovery and garnering endorsements from key figures in the league, Cousins currently finds himself without an NBA contract. Instead, he has played overseas and made appearances on numerous sports talk shows and podcasts.
Recently, Cousins made a guest appearance on Showtime’s ‘KG Certified,’ where he shared his perspective on the state of college basketball, with a particular focus on the emerging concept of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals for star athletes.
Cousins expressed his approval of today’s players being compensated for their name, image, and likeness. However, he made it clear that he does not have a favorable view of the NCAA’s actions in the past.
“It’s great that the current crop of players can finally earn money for their NIL,” Cousins stated. “But let’s not forget what the NCAA has done in the past.”
Cousins’ comments shed light on a critical issue facing college athletes and the evolving landscape of college sports. As the NCAA navigates the changing dynamics of NIL deals, the opinions of former NBA stars like Cousins are invaluable in shaping the conversation.
“At this point college is giving their reparations,” said Cousins. “They robbed us enough. Let’s keep it a buck… when you really think about the stuff they had going on in college and how they treat these athletes, that s**t’s sick. When I was at Kentucky, and this is no knock to Kentucky because this was just the time we was in. We having tournaments in Cancun, Mexico. There’s 3,000 people with a Cousins in Kentucky shirt but the vendor outside just made 60 bands with my name. But I get in trouble for a free meal?”
(Via KG Certified)
In a world where athletes’ rights and compensation are at the forefront of discussions, DeMarcus Cousins’ insights provide a unique perspective from someone who has experienced the highs and lows of professional basketball. As the NCAA continues to adapt to the demands of the modern era, the words of players like Cousins will undoubtedly influence the future of college sports.