DeMarcus Cousins says goodbye to Sacramento: ‘Every soul in this city matters to me’

Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins, right, drives past the Lakers' Larry Nance Jr. on Feb. 14.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

DeMarcus Cousins got emotional Monday night when addressing a group of people in Sacramento, the city he no longer represents after the Kings traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans two days earlier.

“My love for this city has never changed,” he said before breaking off and turning away from the crowd at what appeared to be a going-away party.

After some encouragement from the other attendees, Cousins started again and was able to deliver a heartfelt message to the city that has been his NBA home for all seven years of his career.


“My love for this city has never changed,” he said. “Even though I’m gone, it’ll still be the same. You know, I’m still looking out for these kids. Every family in this city matters to me; every soul in this city matters to me.”

Cousins was drafted fifth overall by Sacramento in 2010 and has been an All-Star the last three seasons. He is averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season.

But he also recently served a one-game suspension after picking up his 17th technical foul and runs the risk of becoming known more for run-ins with referees, coaches and the media than his play on the court.

In dealing Cousins and forward Omri Casspi to New Orleans for Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks this summer, Sacramento General Manager Vlade Divac signaled the franchise is ready to start fresh.

But Cousins said Monday that, in a way, nothing has really changed for him — even if he will be playing for the Pelicans later this week.


“Everything’s the same,” Cousins said. “I’m just not in a Kings uniform anymore, which is OK, because, you know, the love is still here. It’s still gonna go on.”

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