DeMarcus Cousins Says 'I Was a Fool' for Staying with the Kings for So Long

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2017

MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 18:  DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2017-18 regular season game on October 18, 2017 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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DeMarcus Cousins experienced his fair share of turmoil during six-and-a-half seasons with the Sacramento Kings, and he admitted in a recent interview with ESPN's Marc J. Spears that he should have split from the franchise earlier than he did.

"My biggest regret is, why didn't I leave when I had the chance?," Cousins said (h/t theScore's Chris Walder).

"I had the chance, but I fought it. ... I wanted to give it a chance. My representatives, they told me I shouldn't stay. You know, being...I guess you can say stubborn and loyal, I wanted to make things work."

When asked specifically when he wishes he had left, Cousins said he had an opportunity to do so when the Kings named George Karl as their head coach.

Karl was initially hired to replace interim head coach Tyrone Corbin in February 2015. However, the Kings fired him following the 2015-16 campaign due in part to his relationship (or lack thereof) with Cousins.

"I never felt I got into a good place with Cuz, and some of that was my stupidity when I said that no player is untradeable," Karl told the Sacramento Bee's Ailene Voisin. "I still believe that. But I should have been smart enough not to say it, and I in no way, at any time, thought DeMarcus was going to get traded."

Cousins was ultimately traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in February and has since comprised half of one of the NBA's most imposing frontcourt tandems alongside Anthony Davis.

On Thursday, the three-time All-Star will return to Sacramento as a visitor for the first time when the Kings and Pelicans clash at Golden 1 Center.

"I'm excited to play in front of the fans and see their reaction," Cousins told Spears. "But as far as it just being like a revenge game or anything, I'm past it. I'm in a good place, I'm happy where I'm at. We have a chance to win. We're playing for something. So I'm good."