Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins wants to make his Team USA debut in the 2014 FIBA World Cup later this summer, according to FIBA.com. Cousins has never represented his country on the international stage before, but will be seriously considered with the Americans looking to defend their world championship in Spain later this year.
Still months before the start of basketball’s marquee international event, coach Mike Krzyzewski‘s roster remains uncertain.
Most of the players from the 2012 Olympic team will likely be invited back, but some stars often skip the world championships in favor in favor of rest and, even with FIBA pushing the newly christened World Cup, that should remain the case.
Absences from some key players could be good news for Cousins, if he’s truly determined to make the team.
Coach K listed Cousins on the 28-man roster for the 2014-16 international cycle, and given the usual stacked roster being touted by the Americans, there’s some serious depth to battle through.
Cousins is an interesting case, however, given his history with the team.
Back in 2012, after failing to make the team headed to London, Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo criticized Cousins for a lack of maturity. It wasn’t the first time these issues cropped up, but we’ve also seen a more controlled, mature Cousins in the past year with Sacramento.
“What happened in 2012 has been blown out of proportion. The file is closed. I am very thankful that Mr Colangelo gave me another chance last summer,” Cousins said. “I think that I have been doing well during the 2013 training camp and I know that I can bring something to the national team.”
Even if big men are a relative weak spot for Team USA, Cousins will need to show he can translate his game to the international stage and fit with the team’s concepts. His reputation in Sacramento has been up-and-down over the years and post-driven players don’t always thrive in the more perimeter-oriented style of international hoops.
Still, Cousins is a widely talented player and one of the best big men Team USA has, so he’ll surely get his shots to make a difference.