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I’m going to predict that Cousins makes the leap to much greater maturity this year. The reason for this is his service on the Olympic team. We saw a similar bump after playing for the USA in the 2015 FIBA championships. He’s getting older, but he’s also getting wiser (which is not a given).

I was not impressed with Cousins as an NBA player simply because he was such a whiner. Last year, I began to appreciate something about him that made me reconsider: He whines a lot but he never quits. He plays hard the whole game long. Lots of players whine and then sulk and more or less throw in the towel or lose focus. He doesn’t.

If I had been a GM or coach in the NBA two years ago, I would have never wanted Cousins on my team. If I were one today, I’d take him without the slightest reservation.

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