DeMarcus cousins has been told he’s landed a spot on the USA Basketball squad for the Rio Olympics, according to a report from ESPN’s Marc Spears. While the Olympics are less than two months away, this is the first player to (indirectly) confirm he’s been awarded one of the 12 spots on the Team USA roster.
Kings' DeMarcus Cousins has been told he has earned a roster spot on USA Basketball's 2016 Rio Olympics team, a source told The Undefeated.
This is interesting because of what it says about Cousins’ place in the USA Basketball hierarchy. Only a handful of players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and a few others are guaranteed spots on the roster if they want them. As recently as 2014, when Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski were assembling their roster for World Cup play, there was a legitimate debate over whether or not to take Mason Plumlee over Cousins, both for what Plumlee was believed to be able to provide at the time, as well as the attitude issues that were present with Cousins.
But with so many players already out — a list that includes Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Chris Paul and now Russell Westbrook — it makes sense for USA Basketball to start getting firm commitments in place as quickly as possible.
Cousins, a two-time All-Star, averaged 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds for a Sacramento Kings team that missed the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season.