During his initial 4 weeks with Golden State, DeMarcus Cousins clearly did all he could to hush his critics. Teammates lauded Cousins for staying committed in his rehab, mentoring a Warriors’ immature centers and rooting aloud from a bench.
Then on Oct. 26, in a initial entertain of a win over a Knicks during Madison Square Garden, Cousins backslid into bad habits. Referee Scott Foster told him to stop arguing with New York core Enes Kanter, though Cousins persisted, got assessed a technical and was ejected. It was usually a third time in a past 15 seasons that a actor has gotten tossed from a diversion in that he didn’t play.
That Cousins’ initial stat as a Warrior was an ejection usually amplified those unrelenting that he can’t change. Their evidence is simple: Cousins has gotten into run-ins his whole career, so given would things be any opposite usually given he is now on a back-to-back NBA champions?
However, Golden State is some-more focused on how Cousins responded to his ejection than a ejection itself. The day after removing tossed, during use during a National Basketball Players Association gym in Manhattan, he pulled conduct manager Steve Kerr aside to apologize.
“I consider he understands that he has a opposite role, a opposite team, a opposite situation,” Kerr said. “So, he’s got to pierce brazen in his career, and he knows that. That kind of things is not going to assistance us win a championship. It’s not going to assistance his reputation.
“I consider he understands that, and we consider he immediately regretted what happened. we unequivocally conclude him entrance to me and creation that flattering clear.”
The doubt is either that reparation was a act of a some-more mature Cousins or an try to save face.
That competence not be transparent until Cousins, who started participating in group practices final week and hasn’t oral publicly given late September, earnings to a court. As Cousins played a diversion of 4-on-4 Thursday afternoon on a circuitously court, Kerr conceded that Cousins still has “a ways to go” conditioning-wise and isn’t indispensably tighten to entrance back.
In a meantime, he is acclimating to a locker-room sourroundings unconditionally opposite from a ones he inhabited in Sacramento and New Orleans.
Unlike many losing teams, on that players are mostly labeled unsuited for enormous jokes, a Warriors conclude Cousins’ delight and humor. For maybe a initial time in his career, he can be his fun-loving self though fear of reprimand.
Many in Golden State’s classification reckon that Cousins isn’t many opposite than Draymond Green, whose brag is embraced given it’s a pushing force in a team’s success. The Warriors are peaceful to endure a occasional technical tainted from Cousins as prolonged as he doesn’t criticise their ethos.
“The some-more you’re around somebody, a some-more we get to know him, a some-more that bond grows,” Green said. “I consider a bond has unequivocally grown given he’s been here, and it’ll continue to grow.”
The Warriors wish Cousins will uncover he is distant some-more mature than his knucklehead repute suggests, though their deteriorate doesn’t count on it. Even if Golden State’s one-year arrangement with Cousins goes bust, it could still grasp all a goals, roving 4 other All-Stars to a third-straight NBA title.
The stakes are many aloft for Cousins. To be a cause in a Warriors’ latest championship office and land a large agreement elsewhere subsequent summer, he’ll need to still questions about some-more than a liberation of his ripped left Achilles tendon. This competence be Cousins’ sole possibility to uncover a universe that he can be a productive, reputable member of a winning team.
“He unequivocally needs something like this to unequivocally know how to lift yourself,” former Warriors brazen Matt Barnes, who has remained tighten with Cousins given they played together in Sacramento in 2016-17, pronounced before Golden State’s season-opening win over Oklahoma City. “As a male and as a person, it’s going to be a extensive event for him to grow.”
By age 12, Cousins stood 6-foot-5. Those who didn’t see his boyish face or hear his high-pitched voice could have simply confused him for an adult.
Even today, after 8 NBA seasons and 4 All-Star appearances, Cousins, 28, is a bit of an enigma. At 6-11, 270 pounds, he is one of a many commanding players in a league. But there have been moments, when Cousins has thrown a pretension or acted like a testy bully, that leave some to consternation if he’s still usually a large kid.
In July, when Cousins motionless to pointer a one-year, $5.3 million agreement with Golden State after each other group reportedly upheld on him, he perceived a content from Barnes: “This is going to be an extraordinary knowledge for you.”
Not usually does Cousins have a possibility to play in his initial playoff game, win his initial championship and strike giveaway group subsequent summer a wanted man. With a Warriors, he can learn to turn a personality another group will need him to be.
“This is going to be a best probable conditions for him given day in, day out he’s going to learn how to lift himself as a professional, as a winner, as a man,” Barnes said. “I consider these guys are going to reason him accountable, and he hasn’t been on teams that have indispensably finished that.”
Connor Letourneau is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Con_Chron