Kings fans gave DeMarcus Cousins a big ovation in Sacramento return

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 20: DeMarcus Cousins
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 20: DeMarcus Cousins /

DeMarcus Cousins made his return to Sacramento Thursday night, and the crowd gave him the warm welcome he deserved.

DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins and his New Orleans Pelicans are taking on the Sacramento Kings Thursday night in what will be his first game back in Sacramento. The Kings, of course, traded Cousins during the All-Star break last season after he played there for seven seasons. Although Sacramento never made the playoffs during his tenure there, he put up absolutely ridiculous numbers that helped solidify him as one of the best centers in the game today.

The fans certainly recognized that Thursday night.

It was shocking to many that the Kings traded him of course, as Cousins repeatedly expressed his desire to remain with the team and sign a lucrative extension. The Kings eventually committed to giving him the deal he deserved, but then abruptly changed their mind without even acknowledging it. It was a dirty move, but it allowed the franchise to hit the reset button once and for all, and build toward the future. Cousins was coming into Thursday night’s game averaging video game numbers through four games with 31 points, 12 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.3 blocks per game.

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A small sample size, of course, but Boogie has put up dominant numbers over the last five seasons, so there’s reason to believe most of that is sustainable. Cousins is hoping to help the Pelicans get back into the playoffs, along with fellow superstar and frontcourt mate Anthony Davis.

Cousins will be a free agent after this season concludes, and it will be interesting to see if he decides to re-sign with the team or enter free agency. Regardless of what he decides to do, he will be one of the most sought-after players in what is expected to be a star-studded free agency class this summer.