OK, Nets fans. It’s time to revisit the debate we all had during the month of June once we found out that the Nets did not win the John Wall sweepstakes. Tonight, when the Sacramento Kings come to Newark, it’s the battle of the rookie big men: Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins. Of course this battle has become a bit inflammatory thanks to what Cousins was saying earlier this summer, which Stefan Bondy gladly reminds us of:
“I can’t wait to play (teams that passed me up) because I’m going at their necks,” he said. “Especially the big that got picked before me.”
Backing off a little bit on Thursday, Cousins said this:
Cousins said Thursday he wasn’t intentionally singling out Favors, although he likes the word “rivalry” to describe their basketball relationship. His philosophy for his rookie season is to use his big body (270 pounds) to knock off the naysayers, not just the Nets. He has said that criticisms about his attitude and work ethic have been undeserved, yet caused him to slip in the draft. It left him with an objective to “every day go out and prove a hater wrong.
In a Sacramento Bee report, Cousins backs off the Favors competition completely:
“I’m coming here to help my team win,” Cousins said. “I’m not getting into all that. I’m here to play my role and help my team get another ‘W.’ ”
In an interview with Ben Couch, the mild mannered Favors took a more professional approach to Cousins’ jibber jabbering:
“People are going to say something, no matter what you do in life,” Favors said. “So I don’t let it bother me. It didn’t surprise me. I didn’t hear what he said or anything, I just heard he said something and I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’”
It’s funny that the 19-year-old Favors is taking a more NBA-ready approach to this whole “rivalry” than Cousins. And that’s precisely the reason why I didn’t want the Nets to get anywhere near Cousins. I’m sorry, but attitude does count for something and while some Nets fans may be put off by the more mild-mannered Favors, I think Cousins antics are going to ultimately get him in trouble in the NBA. Plus, I lived through the Derrick Coleman years. Trust me guys, it’s not worth it. These kinds of guys very rarely reach their potential. If Sacramento can get Cousins to shut up and stay focused on basketball. Kudos to that organization. My guess is he’ll fall out of favor eventually.