DeMarcus Cousins was a late offseason signing for the Houston Rockets in 2020, as they signed him just one week before training camp. The fact that Cousins was available and still on the market that late in the offseason showed just how much he had declined, at least in the eyes of the masses.
The Rockets weren't expecting Cousins to return to his All-NBA form, they simply needed a reserve big man to fill in for Christian Wood. Cousins lasted 25 games in Houston before his eventual release from the Rockets, averaging 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, a measly 37.6 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from long-range (4.6 attempts), and 74.6 percent from the free-throw line.
Cousins has since played for three different teams since being given his walking papers by Rockets GM Rafael Stone and spent the 2022-23 season out of the NBA entirely. Cousins is currently playing for the Mets de Guaynabo in the Baloncesto Superior National league of Puerto Rico.
In spite of that, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith believes that Boogie remains one of the game's best big men, which Smith stated on Podcast P with Paul George Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment.
"I look at a guy like DeMarcus Cousins and I don't like the way he's being treated. He's got game bro.
And I'm not gonna rest. You've got people looking at me and they're like 'he's not a fit'. I'm like 'shut the hell up'.
DeMarcus Cousins right now would be a top-five big man in basketball. Period. Right now.
We haven't always had the greatest relationship but we're cool now. Ain't no way in hell that man is supposed to be in Puerto Rico playing basketball.
You might have a point when you say he shouldn't have been so assertive and truculent. Alright. Come on, where is forgiveness? Where is compassion?
This brother has a game- he does not deserve to be in Puerto Rico playing basketball.
Right now, with his skillset, his body, his strength, his basketball IQ, his shooting ability, he would be a top-five player. I think you've got people in the league ostracizing him because of a personality he once had. Yo man, we all make mistakes.
And he is somebody that I think is gonna be a better man for it than he was maybe early on. Don't tell me that he doesn't deserve a chance."
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith makes bold proclamation about former Rockets big man
Perhaps Smith should take his own advice and stay off the weed because there's no way Cousins is a top-five big man in the league in his current form.
Smith added that he and Cousins haven't always had the greatest relationship.
"He and I butted heads. I knew how he felt about me and I didn't give a damn.
Next thing you know, he reached out when he heard what I said on Draymond's podcast. I ain't have nothing against him.
He called and I'm like 'yo, there ain't nothing to talk about. We're good.' I respect the manhood. You had a problem with something I said, but that's over and done with."
Perhaps Smith is buttering Cousins up to try and continue to repair their once-fractured relationship because there's no way Boogie is still a top-five big man.
Not even close.