Cousins: 'I was a fool' for being so loyal to Kings
"My biggest regret is ... why didn't I leave when I had the chance?," said Cousins to ESPN's Marc J. Spears concerning his tenure with the organization.
"I had the chance, but I fought it. I wanted to give it a chance. My representatives they told me I shouldn't stay. You know, being ... guess you can say stubborn and 'loyal,' I wanted to make things work."
Cousins' relationship with George Karl was toxic, with the former head coach approaching management in an attempt to remove the All-Star big man from the equation via a trade. Aware of Karl's intentions, Cousins took to social media with his now infamous snake in the grass tweet.
When asked by Spears how he remembers his rift with his ex-coach, Cousins wished he took the opportunity that was presented to him to leave Sacramento, thus preventing all of the drama with Karl.
"I should have left when I had the chance, and avoided it all, because they told me what would happen," Cousins responded.
Prior to last season's trade deadline, the Kings finally pulled the trigger and shipped Cousins off to the New Orleans Pelicans for a package that included Buddy Hield. Cousins felt betrayed by the move, as general manager Vlade Divac had told him to his face that he wouldn't be dealt, even going as far as asking him about personnel decisions in the days prior.
"All last year, I felt like that's all it was about. I got traded, and 'he hates Sacramento,' and that kind of fed into it. At the end of the day, it's a business," Cousins added. "I kind of blame myself for even putting myself at that point. You knew coming in this was a business. How are you gonna be loyal to someone that ain't loyal to any player that's ever played this game? I was a fool."
He inked a four-year, $62-million extension back in 2013 (Karl arrived in 2014-15), and had plans to remain with the Kings on a new extension worth over $200 million last summer had he still been with the team.
Cousins returns to Sacramento for the first time since joining the Pelicans on Thursday night.
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