New Orleans has dropped the first two games of its season-closing road trip while playing without DeMarcus Cousins (right Achilles soreness), a three-time All-Star who’s been missed by the Pelicans in defeats at Denver and Golden State. Another group that misses Cousins? New Orleans media members, who’ve easily filled their notebooks and TV reports with frequent one-liners and quips by the 26-year-old. Here are the top 10 quotes from Cousins, who’s only been a Pelican for seven weeks:
10) “(Excited) about what? Who do we play tomorrow?”
A grinning Cousins, responding to a question from a writer before the March 31 game against Sacramento, his former team. Facing numerous friends on the Kings roster, Cousins dropped in 37 points, including five three-pointers, in a 28-point win for the Pelicans.
9) “I don’t want to do any talking. I just want results. No talking. But yeah, UK’s going to take it home.”
After pouring in 41 points vs. Memphis on March 21, Cousins made an Arenalink visit with NBA TV and responded to a question about an upcoming NCAA Sweet 16 matchup between his college, Kentucky, and UCLA. The Wildcats backed up Cousins’ prediction by eliminating the Bruins 86-75.
8) “We’re with the homies now.”
A bit weary on what he called “leg day,” Cousins decided to take a load off his feet and spend his March 23 post-practice media availability seated on the floor in Metairie. He began his back-and-forth with a handful of reporters by describing the session in informal terms.
7) “I’m still GPS-ing to practice every day!”
Roughly a month into his tenure with the Pelicans, a laughing Cousins described one challenging aspect of having to pick up and move to a brand-new city in the middle of an NBA season.
6) “I saw AD made some comments that he would never throw me a lob. So we worked on that today in practice. That’s going to have to change.”
A joking Cousins told the media March 23 that in response to Anthony Davis explaining that the alley-oop connection between the two All-Stars was only a one-way option, the more floor-bound Cousins had decided to try to add lob dunks to his repertoire.
5) “Have you seen the pictures? Let’s just say I fit right in.”
A laughing Cousins’ response to a question about whether he enjoyed participating in Mardi Gras, which reached its culmination in the days after he arrived in the trade. A few popular photos of Cousins standing on a parade float featured him tossing beads, while wearing a women’s undergarment on top of his head.
4) “It’s been good. It’s been fun. I get to see my family more often. But then you’ve got that family that kind of comes out of the cracks. Your seventh-cousin Bobo.”
A smiling Cousins describing one negative of now living and playing so close to family in Mobile, Ala., having to field ticket requests from “distant” relatives he’s never seen before.
3) “Bobo ain’t getting tickets, man.”
Cousins’ response to whether his seventh cousin’s desire to come to Pelicans games will be accommodated.
2) “He’s like instant grits.”
Following a March 8 home game vs. Toronto, Cousins compared the ability of guard Jordan Crawford to quickly heat up and get baskets to the rapid preparation of the popular-in-the-South comfort food. The description spread immediately among fans and media, leading to Crawford commonly being called “Instant Grits” as a valuable scorer off the bench.
1) “You’ve got a little fire and a little ice.”
When a marquee NBA duo such as Cousins and Davis joins forces, it usually takes time for someone to come up with a fitting nickname that everyone likes and uses. Not in this case. Just minutes into his introductory press conference as a New Orleans player, Cousins used this phrase to describe the contrast between himself (“Fire”) and Davis (“Ice”), inadvertently creating the tandem’s moniker. Later that same day, the tag was already everywhere on the Internet and universally accepted.