DeMarcus Cousins is leaving New Orleans to sign with the Golden State Warriors. A shocking sentence no one expected to read, even after his Achilles tendon failed in the final seconds of a victory over the Houston Rockets. How did this happen? Or why?
Boogie going back to California to chase a ring will be seen as weakness by many. A lack of loyalty by some. All outsiders attempting to apply their own morals on a man they failed to understand. I might be way off base, but I feel like Cousins wasn't some enigma. He was brutally honest about what he wanted.
Boogie wanted loyalty. That's what he wanted. He wanted to feel like a franchise had his back. Since his injury, it is difficult to say the Pelicans acted in a way to engender such a feeling. Who knows what the actual final straw was, but I'm willing to guess it was the contract offer itself. Some form of the Pelicans trying to avoid the tax or provide flexibility for the future or protect themselves if Boogie didn't come back. All backed by reasonable business sensibilities. And all of it failing to understand what the person on the other side of the table needed in the negotiation.
Was it about the money, or what the money meant?
Now, all that narrative and world building is coming crashing down as DeMarcus Cousins channels his inner Dolores. Faced with more evidence that this league is not going to provide him with what he wants, Cousins decided to take what he could get.
Boogie won't get loyalty, so he'll take a ring. He couldn't come back to New Orleans without the backstory still swirling about the team being better without him, as the franchise tried to build the scaffolding to support his eventual departure. No problem, Cousins will cut out all the unseen story writers and let Marc Spears write the story Boogie wants to tell while ESPN eats up every morsel. Lacking loyalty, Cousins chose to write his own narrative and control his own story.
Free. Agency. Two words. Both important.