Every rookie in the NBA has that moment when they realize that the league is different from college or any other place they’ve played basketball. For Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma, that moment involved New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins, which is a pretty scary proposition.
Kuzma showed during his first year that he isn’t scared or intimidated by anyone, which is one of many reasons he endeared himself to fans everywhere. But coming on the wrong side of the 6’11, 270-pound Cousins is something that no one wants to do.
Nonetheless Kuzma experienced his ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment when he got a serious warning from Cousins, as he explained during his appearance on Inside the NBA:
“I attacked DeMarcus Cousins, got him in the air, pump-faked him, and gave it to Bogut. Running back on defense, he said, ‘Alright young fella. That was a nice move but I’m going to clothesline you next time.’ Probably that moment right there.”
As Kuzma has noted, the new era of players tend to be friends and are nice to each other. Cousins, who is regularly among the league leaders in technical fouls and is known for his attitude, is certainly one of the exceptions to that line of thinking. He is an old-school player who has no problems sending a message to the opposition if necessary.
Thankfully Kuzma heeded Cousins’ warning, nothing happened, and Kuzma went on to have an outstanding rookie season. His scoring ability and fearlessness have made him a fan-favorite and there will be a lot of expectations on him next season.
Whether or not he’ll be willing to attack Cousins next season remains to be seen, but considering what we saw from him as a rookie, no warning will stop him from doing anything on the court.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB