Toronto Star

Pelicans duo’s ‘potential is scary’

Cousins says he was happy with Kings, but is excited about playing with Davis


METAIRIE, LA.— DeMarcus Cousins says his prayers have been answered, although not necessaril­y in the way he expected.

The New Orleans Pelicans’ newest all-star maintained on Wednesday that he liked Sacramento and initially wasn’t happy about being traded Sunday night, but added he’d become frustrated waiting through sixplus losing seasons for the Kings to add more elite players.

“I would go home, just stressed out, pulling my hair out, you know, praying, praying, praying: Just send me some help.”

Cousins is the one who wound up being sent away, but to a team where he joins fellow 6-foot-11 all-star Anthony Davis.

“Our games complement one another and being together I think is going to make both of our jobs easier,” Cousins said shortly before his first Pelicans practice. “We can wreak havoc on this league. Will it happen overnight? Probably not, but our potential is scary.”

Davis and Cousins debut as Pelicans teammates at home Thursday night against Houston — a game Davis has been eagerly awaiting since learning of the trade on Sunday night. The deal excited him to the point he had trouble sleeping and texted Cousins around 3 a.m. Monday. Cousins was up, too, an texted back.

“I was up all night just thinking about how far we could go and what we could do on the court together,” Davis said. “We’re both excited for the rest of the season, then next year.”

Cousins is averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season and can become a free agent in 2018 unless the Pelicans can sign him to an extension commensura­te to all-star pay.

Cousins said he’s not prepared to discuss his contract situation now, but stressed, “I’m all in. I’ll make the best of this opportunit­y and see what the future holds.”

Davis is averaging 27.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game this season and is coming off his fourth straight All-Star game. On Sunday night, he scored an All-Star game record 52 points and was named MVP. Without using the term “Big Three,” general manager Dell Demps insinuated that he sees the two former Kentucky big men and point guard Jrue Holiday — a former Eastern Conference all-star — in such a light.

“We just felt that those three guys, putting them together, it’s exciting just to think about the possibilit­ies,” Demps said.

Holiday, who has struggled with injuries since being acquired in 2013, has been healthy this season and is averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 assists.

In describing how he and Davis would complement one another, Cousins said, “You’ve got a little fire; you’ve got a little ice.” Demps laughed and added, “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”

Davis said he knows Cousins is emotional and will be ready to step between him and officials or others to try to keep Cousins calm when tensions rise.

“I’m not afraid of him — at all,” Davis said.

“When you want to win, you’ve got to be comfortabl­e telling whoever what they need to hear.”

 ?? ROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES ?? All-star big man DeMarcus Cousins, left, says he was happy in Sacramento, but frustrated by the Kings’ lack of success on the court.
ROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES All-star big man DeMarcus Cousins, left, says he was happy in Sacramento, but frustrated by the Kings’ lack of success on the court.

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