DeMarcus Cousins made his grand entry as a Golden State Warrior in a 112-94 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
The big man had spent well-nigh a year on the sidelines with an Achilles injury sustained whilst playing for the Pelicans last January. And, on a night that began with plenty of nervousness an apprehension, the four-time All-Star poured 14 points in 15 minutes to mark a successful debut for his new team.
The night would end with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson dumping water on their new teammate's head. And, as Draymond Green probably rightly predicted, all hell could be about to break loose.
Say hello to Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins: pic.twitter.com/Zq3K6wNf8c— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) January 19, 2019
The star would announce his return with a thunderous one-handed dunk to register his first two points on the night and walked back to the other end of the court wearing his famous scowl.
"I'm just glad to know that I can still dunk," he told reporters (via ESPN) after the game. "It felt good. I never in a million years thought that would be my first basket playing ball again."
While he did have difficult moments, especially with the officiating, Cousins gave fans a preview of what's to come with 3 of 4 shooting from beyond the arc.
"Felt like a kid on Christmas," he said of his return. "It's been a long journey. This is probably one of the best days of my life."
"I'm just glad to know I can still dunk."— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 19, 2019
DeMarcus Cousins approved of his 1st basket as a Warrior! 😂 pic.twitter.com/4BpyTPSYlh
The player shot 5 of 11 from the floor and, being DeMarcus, he fouled out with 8 minutes and 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The center, who was booed when he touched the ball for the first time, exited the game to an effusive ovation from the traveling Warriors fans, as well as the Clippers support.
"Man, probably the fakest love I've ever received in my life. I'm just going to keep it a million," he said with a laugh. "I honestly don't see how guys like Steph and Klay do it on the daily, where there are cameras around them all day. I don't like it, at all. So hopefully this is the last day of this."
Asked if he felt that the Clippers were trying to bait him by being physical, he asked: "Who's being physical?"
"Man, Y'all lucky this is my first day back," he replied after being informed that Marcin Gortat and Montrezl Harrell were. "I will tell you how I really feel about buddy, but I'm gonna be cool and stay on this straight line right now. Wait until I get in midseason form."
DeMarcus Cousins on being the center of attention tonight: “Fakest love I’ve ever seen in my life...I don’t know how Steph and KD do it.” pic.twitter.com/1rrmAt3cys— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 19, 2019
What This Means
Quite possibly that the Warriors will clinch that three-peat.
Cousins still has a very long way to go. But judging from his displays on Friday, one can be forgiven for assuming that the defending champions will be extremely hard to take down in any seven-game series with Cousins now a part of their lineup.
They're just cheating now...