The NBA is a contact sport. Those who say otherwise likely haven’t watched big men like Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins battle for position in the post, where every inch can be the difference between winning and losing.
Along those lines, many NBA players and teams have taken a look at martial arts training as a way to improve strength and conditioning. Los Angeles Lakers center Roy Hibbert spent some time at a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy this summer, for one. And now, the Sacramento Kings are mixing in a little MMA-style training — with a professional.
The Kings joined UFC fighter Urijah Faber at his gym for some calisthenics, shadow boxing, and light work with a body-sized punching bag. And Cousins seemed to meet his match, at least for an instant. Watch at the 1:09-mark in the clip below as the big man steps up to the bag, delivers a kick — and recoils in pain.
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But Cousins is no quitter. He gives it a second try — and recoils in pain once again.
Cousins is one tough customer. That bag must be made of titanium or some other super-strong material to challenge him as such.