Photo Gallery: Cousins Is Gold Blooded; Best of 2016 Team USA Basketball
By Karim Akbar
Demarcus Cousins had stretches of uneven play all tournament long. With the pressure of their national profile at stake and at least one former Dream Teamer who was not impressed licking his chomps, the stakes were high. The result and level of competition however was anything but high drama.
Team USA dominated Serbia 96–66 in a game that was decided early on in the first half. The dismantling morphed from a medal game to a preseason shoot-around late in the fourth. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 while Cousins chipped in 13 points and 15 rebounds. It was a dominating performance as Cousins stepped up big in the game that mattered the most.
“This is the best feeling ever,” Cousins said. “Honestly, it’s the best feeling ever.” You could easily say the gold medal game was Cousins’ best effort of the games and I wouldn’t debate that. DeMarcus was consistently bogged down by FIBA’s stodgy style and was equally handcuffed by the team’s penchant for isolation offense, the constant foul trouble didn’t help things either. These problems when put into context of performance left Cousins a bit player on a team ripe with them.
That was until Sunday of course when Cousins decided to drop a stat line fairly reminiscent of his work in Sacramento. Now that the job is done Boogie heads back to Sacramento facing more uncertainty and question marks than he had in Rio but the million dollar question of course is whether Cousins’ gold medal run will translate to success — and fewer headaches — now that the big man has a medal? That’s a story for another time, for now let’s just let Boogie sum it up himself.