Prepare for Boogie.
If his 2013-14 campaign told you anything, it’s that DeMarcus Cousins is on the brink of superstardom. He was top-10 in scoring and top-five in rebounding last season. While it’s arguable whether or not he should have been an all-star last season (which I thought was a horrendous snub), his skills are rare and he’ll utilize his repertoire to elevate his game to another level this next season.
Well, what do we already know ……. or better yet, what do we think we know? Boogie is uncoachable. Boogie is immature. Boogie is so talented and has so much potential, if only he could get his act together. He’s wasting his potential. Now, the other 5 percent of the population, those that actually watch Sacramento Kings games (go figure) will call BS. Sure, earlier in his career, Boogie was erratic. But let’s take a look at what’s changed since his rookie season:
- New ownership
- New team direction with him at the center (pun intended)
- Speaking of center, a new position (he played PF his rookie season)
- New no nonsense coach (Mike Malone)
- New mentor (Shaq)
Things change in the NBA and time heals all wounds. This is no different with Boogie. While each of those critical statements may have at one point been true, Boogie has shown massive improvement in both his on-court play and in his intangibles. He still plays with an attitude, but it’s a winning attitude, rather than a rebellious one. Let’s also not underestimate the effects of a poorly run organization. Both Boogie and the Kings needed to hit the reset button and everybody has a fresh start now.
Even the league is taking notice now, evidenced by Boogie’s inclusion on this year’s Team USA team that competed in the FIBA World Cup tournament. He had to accept playing within a role. He was not the focus of this team nor was he even a starter. Even still, he played with heart and energy, providing buckets off the bench, a handful of boards, and improved rim protection, which has been one of his weaknesses. It was a humbling, yet honorable experience for Boogie and it should provide him with added confidence, especially considering Team USA’s dominance en route to World Cup Gold.
Boogie could and should potentially find himself in their company this season. Few centers in the NBA can defend him because of his offensive versatility — proficient post play, solid face up game and dribble drive attack, soft touch — and his defense should be improved, having shown improvements in the World Cup and playing for a defense-first coach.
While I’m somewhat befuddled by some of the Kings’ roster moves, one thing I’m pretty certain about is that Boogie is the real deal. I’m expecting him to be an all-star this season and assuming the team can win more than 35 games (which has proven to be no guarantee), he can compete for an All-NBA selection.
All Hail Boogie, the king of Kings.