During a press conference announcing his max contract extension with the Kings, DeMarcus Cousins announced he is donating $1 million to the families and community of Sacramento and mayor Kevin Johnson's organization.
It's a classy move by Cousins, who follows in the footsteps of fellow former Cat John Wall, who donated $1 million to the city of Washington DC when he received his contract extension this summer.
The presser included the new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D'Alessandro. Ranadive said that when he took over the team in May, he sent DeMarcus a text saying "Let's put a dent in the NBA universe"
(referencing Steve Jobs' infamous line), and DeMarcus replied "Sounds good boss."
Since then, the Kings have built the team around DeMarcus, who has already stepped up into that leadership role. D'Alessandro says Cousins has been a leader in off-season workouts
, calling out his teammates that don't show up or come in late. When it was his turn to speak, DeMarcus said he felt blessed to be in his situation, and because of the magnitude of the moment, was "short on words."
For the first time since he was drafted back in 2010, there is some structure in the Kings' organization, which DeMarcus calls a "relief." Cousins praised the work the new management has done so far, and says he's ready to get things rolling. How are things going with his new mentor and Kings minority owner Shaquille O'Neal?
"It's not really about putting the ball in the basket, it's just everything outside of it. We've talked a lot. We talk almost every day, everything from silly texts to 'How you doing today?'. He's been great so far and I've learned a lot. I'll planning on continuing to learn more from him."
(Leave your best #ShaqSillyTexts in the comments section.)
DeMarcus admitted that he has to get better at managing his temper and not responding to haters:
"That's something that I do have to get better at. I'm the type of guy, if I know you don't like me, I'm not going to be able to just smile in your face like everything's cool. That's something I have to get better at. I also have to stop reading. That's something Shaq also told me: 'You've got to stop reading, you've got to stop caring. You can't care what these guys say.'"
We call that #TeamNF. Get ready for the Year of DeMarcus.