Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins’ decision to fly up from Los Angeles to attend Dave Joerger’s introductory press conference was received kindly by the new head coach. Joerger joined The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday and believes Cousins’ actions are indication of his priorities.
“First of all, a lot of those things are set up, right. I mean they fly in the guy to show support and this and that, and that just wasn’t the case yesterday. I mean, he did that all on his own,” Joerger said. “I think that says a lot about him and his growth as a player and a human.”
Joerger made it clear that the 25-year-old two-time All-Star is important to the teams’ success.
“The roster has some flexibility in it going forward, so I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do, but I know we’re going to go through him,” Joerger said of Cousins. “Hoping we can push the basketball, and I’m going to ask some more things of him defensively now that he’s been in the league for a long time. For me, to have the opportunity to work with Marc Gasol day in and day out and how hard he worked at his craft, [if] DeMarcus dedicates himself to doing that, you know the skies the limit for him, and if that’s where it is for him, that’s where it can be for us.”
Having lost his job with Memphis on Saturday, Joerger and the Kings moved quickly to reach an agreement. The 42-year-old explained why he jumped at the opportunity instead of taking a step back for a bit.
“I’m a minor league guy. I’ve worked my way up through Bismarck, North Dakota, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and I saw the passion in those communities,” Joerger said. “To get to spend nine years and the passion for the Grizzlies here in Memphis, we absolutely loved it, and I know that’s there in Sacramento. They’ve got a new arena, they’ve got absolutely solid management with Vlade in charge and going forward partnering with a guy where we will walk out of the room arm and arm and be very unified. They’ve got some good players, they’ve got some good young players, and it’s just an exciting place to be.”
Joerger also touched on the backlash Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors have received from former players and the notion that nowadays the league is watered down.
“I disagree from people taking anything away from that group of guys. I mean what they’ve done is ridiculous,” Joerger said. “The shots [Curry] makes, the plays the guys make. What Klay Thompson does at 6’ 7” with his quick release, what Draymond [Green] has done moving over at small forward to power forward and kind of the evolution of the way they play, I just don’t think it’s right to take anything away from what they’ve done.”