The Los Angeles Lakers were targeting a particular All-Star this July, but when things didn’t go in their favor, they ended up with another. Four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins is now a Laker, and he explained why he chose to join the team in a recent interview.
A majority of the credit should go to both LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, who may have taken matters into their own hands in order to get Cousins in the Purple and Gold.
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) July 11, 2019
“Rondo and LeBron kinda threw a pitch in there to get me here,” Cousins said. “I really talked a lot with Rondo. They basically kidnapped me and made me come here. But nah, those are two really good friends of mine, and obviously we’ve had a chance to play and be teammates previously before this. We enjoyed our time together as teammates. We’ve always talked about teaming back up and the opportunity presented itself.”
Speaking from experience, Rondo and James likely made a pitch to Cousins about what it’s like to win a championship. Rondo won his first and only title with the Celtics in 2008, while James has three rings to his credit from his days with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. Furthermore, James has appeared in the NBA Finals nine times, including eight straight from 2011 to 2018.
Forcibly or not, the fact that Cousins will play for the Lakers this season is a good reason for fans to celebrate. If he were to regain his All-Star form, he would easily be the league’s biggest bargain this season. He agreed to play for the Lakers on a one-year, $3.5 million deal.
A month after making his first Finals appearance with the Golden State Warriors, Cousins will be playing with familiar faces in Los Angeles. Rondo and Anthony Davis were his teammates a year ago with the New Orleans Pelicans, and the three have reunited this summer with a chance to contend for a title.