Well, the NBA off-season was fun while it lasted. The draft provided some exciting glimpses of the future for fans of several long-downtrodden squads, and the start of free agency offered a seismic shift in LeBron James’s move from the Cavaliers to the Lakers.
And then the Warriors just dropped a bomb on the whole thing.
By reportedly getting former Pelicans centre DeMarcus Cousins to agree Monday to a one-year deal for a mere US$5.3 million, the insanely rich got obscenely richer. Even if Cousins takes until, say, late February to recover from the torn Achilles tendon he suffered in January, he should be back to his forceful self by the playoffs, giving Golden State’s starting lineup a quintet of all-stars with which to pursue its third straight championship.
In other words, even with almost four months to go before the regular season begins, it already appears to be game over for the rest of the league. That caused an unhappy, just-give-them-the-trophy-now reaction among more than a few NBA fans when they learned of the Cousins news, and they were not alone.
As Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.com put it on Twitter, “To all NBA fans who are pissed off right now, I can tell you this: Many players are even more upset than you.”
Kennedy tweeted that an NBA player who is a free agent said of the Cousins signing, “They might as well cancel the NBA season. Can we just get our paychecks for the year now?” Kennedy added that his “last three texts from players” were composed of these comments:
“Bro, what the hell?”
“This is crazy.”
Bolstering Kennedy’s assertion of leaguewide discontent was the Jazz’s Jae Crowder, who required all-caps to ask the question du jour, “WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE GUYS.!??”
Right there with him was the Knicks’ Emmanuel Mudiay, who tweeted, “WHAT IS GOING ON”. Teammate Enes Kanter provided quite the edgily joking answer, sharing an image of Adam Silver in a Warriors uniform and claiming that the NBA commissioner himself had signed with Golden State.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets’ Tyler Lydon could only bring himself to share a face-palm emoji. Frank Kaminsky of the Hornets sounded dazed, tweeting, “5 All-Stars on 1 team. . .. wow.”
The Magic’s Evan Fournier exclaimed, “Seriously????” In a subsequent tweet, posted in his native French, he said that the upcoming season was going to be like starting to watch a movie, only to have some jerk (to opt for a family-friendly translation) tell you the ending.
Naturally, the Warriors’ Stephen Curry had a more positive reaction, jokingly referring to Cousins as the third “Splash Brother,” along with himself and teammate Klay Thompson, and adding, “Let’s go.” Golden State’s Andre Iguodala was equally excited, tweeting, “Big fella!!!!”
Meanwhile, Cousins himself told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears that joining the Warriors was his “smartest move ever” and that the move represented his “Ace of Spades.” It was left to players on other teams to bemoan how the deck seemed to be more stacked than ever against them.