DeMarcus Cousins returned to action for the Americans as USA Basketball routed the Dominican Republic 105-62 last night at Madison Square Garden. The Sacramento Kings center’s health had come into question after suffering a right knee injury in practice last week.
Cousins told reporters Wednesday night that his knee “felt a little weird” and “tightened up” as the game progressed. Despite feeling lingering effects from the injury, the 24-year-old big man was able to grab a team-high eight rebounds in the blowout victory.
“Towards the end of the game it tightened up on me,” the Sacramento Kings center said to media in New York of his knee. “From where I was a couple days ago to now, it feels a lot better.”
As USA Basketball prepares for another exhibition contest on Friday against Puerto Rico, Cousins remains cautious about his health. Even though his knee didn’t sideline him from yesterday’s game, the Sacramento Kings center says it’s still not where he wants it to be.
“I am still scared to push off of it and bend too much,” Cousins said. “but it is a lot better than it was a couple of days ago.”
Cousins came off the bench and played a total of 16 minutes. He suggested to reporters that he was happy with his performance and executed his job, which is to rebound and defend to the best of his abilities.
“I am a physical player,” the Sacramento Kings big man said of how he approaches the game. “and I am definitely not running away from that.”
Cousins remains in contention for one of the 12 spots on USA Basketball’s World Cup roster. Following yesterday’s game, head coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters that no cuts will be made prior to Friday’s outing against Puerto Rico.
Quotes from USA Basketball were used to write this story.