DeMarcus Cousins is looking forward to the end of almost a year out with a ruptured Achilles and his debut for the Warriors, a team he describes as the “most hated team in sports.”
Cousins, 28, signed with the reigning NBA champions in free agency on a one-year deal in the offseason after going down with the injury Jan. 26 while playing for the Pelicans against the Rockets.
The four-time All-Star center is expected to make his long-awaited return when the Warriors face the Clippers on Friday in Los Angeles.
Cousins isn’t interested in the narrative of whether he needs the Warriors more or vice versa, claiming people love to hate Golden State and their leading stars.
“I don’t really pay attention to storylines,” he told ESPN. “I mean, they’re gonna say what they have to say. They’re gonna add their opinions. We’re the most hated team in sports. Can you name another?”
Put to him that the Cowboys in the NFL and the Yankees in MLB would vie for that title: “Well, put us up there. I would say the Warriors are for sure.
“You know they hate Kevin [Durant]. They hate me. I think the only guy they really like is Steph [Curry]. Actually, they may hate him as well. They hate Draymond [Green]. But I mean, it is what it is. I can’t worry about that.”
Cousins sent out a warning that he intends to make his presence felt and feels he has improved as a player following his rehab.
“I’m back, and I’m not looking back. I’m moving forward. I’m leaving it on the floor every night. And I plan on coming back for that top spot,” he said.
“You know, at the end of this month, it’ll basically be a calendar year. So it’s been a long time coming, to say the least.
“Obviously, I won’t be the same player. I’ve got better. A lot of things have changed in my game. You start to tune up other areas of your game: jump shooting, skill work. I think everything has just increased and gotten better.”