I have a great deal of respect for any athlete who comes out firing in Eff You Mode with both barrels, and DeMarcus Cousins joining the Golden State Warriors on a $5.3 million midlevel exception is absolutely the most fantastic case of Eff You Mode I have seen in recent memory.
This is not Kevin Durant playing mercenary in the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” NBA tradition.
It’s not LeBron James doing the same thing in 2010, or Bron going Hollywood for reasons other than basketball or Carmelo Anthony doing the same thing when his media-obsessed wife took a giant steaming dump on Denver and forced her husband to demand a trade to the Knicks.
This is a guy who decided, sensibly, to test the market in free agency, watched every team in the league tell him no sale, and finally decide “OK, F all y’all, I’m gonna do the most troll thing I can. Get Bob Myers on the phone.”
Cousins now has nothing to lose.
Normally, a big man with a busted ankle, foot, or heel (in Cousins’ case, his Achilles tendon) is a guy who’s never the same afterward; this is why the league balked at signing him.
But at $5.3 million on a team that can afford to limit his minutes when he comes back from surgery, Cousins now gets a chance to rebuild his reputation, enjoy playoff success—even though he was drafted in 2010, Boogie still hasn’t played in an actual playoff game thanks to injury keeping him out of the Pelicans’ postseason run in 2018—and have fun with guys he knows from international competition.
And I love every single thing about this move.
For one thing, I’m a very firm believer in the notion that the ability to work for an employer of his choice at a fairly-negotiated price is the first and most primal of workers’ rights; this is the underpinning principle of my career as a freelance writer, after all.
For another, anything that makes NBA Twitter lose its collective mind and start spouting all the stale old cliches that prove that at best they’re stans for the owners and at worst they’re outright racist (Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless, looking at you) makes the media talking heads look like the morons they are, and I’m all for people who deserve it getting trolled.
But mostly, it makes the Warriors less villainous.
If you’re even slightly a fan of great players getting rewarded for being All-Star talents, you want to see Boogie, who suffered for years under the incompetent management in Sacramento’s front office, finally get a chance to be a winner for a change.
And doing that as Upgrade Button version of Zaza Pachulia? A legit bang-in-the-post big man was the only thing Golden State didn’t have.
If you love basketball, you should love this move.
If you’re sick of LeBron James dragging bad teams to the Finals every year and, with the exception of 2016, walking those G-League teams into forgone conclusions in June, a team that will mop the floor with him in the playoffs is just what the doctor ordered. Gives him more time to hang out on camera with Amy Schumer when the Lakers are a train wreck.
And most importantly, if you’ve actually enjoyed watching Golden State lay claim to the annals of history with the Showtime Lakers and the Jordan Bulls and the Bill Russell Celtics, if you enjoy watching greatness unfold in real time, having them add a redemption story to a troubled center’s legacy makes the best possible story.
Boogie Cousins is my new favorite player. Go get it, big guy.