On the same night the Cleveland Cavaliers were cat fighting over doctor’s notes, DeMarcus Cousins further proved he’s gotten his act together. Heck, he further proved he’s the most polished big man in the NBA.
Cousins put up 44 points, 24 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals. He played 52 of the possible 58 minutes in the Pelicans’ 132-128 overtime win over the Bulls. He was efficient in shooting 5 of 11 from the 3-point line and 13 of 14 from the free-throw line.
He was the first man to put up a 40-20-10 stat line since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.
Guess who was watching?
Yes, LeBron James. Who else?
The Pelicans did everyone the service of posting Cousins’ stat lines on Twitter, which is perfectly typical for a team account. Teams share the stats of their best performer, even when that performer wasn’t particularly great. But this tweet felt like it needed “#ad,” which is required by Twitter for those advertising a product. And it appears to have reached their target audience in Cleveland.
In case a coach (LeBron, I’m looking at you) or a general manager (still looking at you, LeBron) wants to study the game tape, the Pelicans also put some highlights in the tweet.
The truth is is that LeBron has already made up his mind on Cousins. There’s no advertisement needed.
“The best big man in our game,” LeBron said of Cousins on Jan. 13, via Cleveland.com. “Not only playing the interior. He handles the ball extremely well. Shoots the 3. He gets his guys involved at times, too.”
LeBron may have also made up his mind when it comes to the Cavaliers. The team held an anonymous press conference with the media last week to air out their grievances with the lack of talent on Cleveland’s roster, according to ESPN. Is there any chance LeBron wasn’t there?
It was surely a coincidence that Cousins exploded on the night of another Cavaliers blowup — this time over Kevin Love’s ailment. But we’d be remiss not to draw a connection between the two moments after LeBron did so himself.
Cousins was on full display ahead of the trade deadline. With the Cavaliers looking like a Deathstar (still dangerous but explosion inevitable), they might be ready to overpay for Cousins to fix their problems.
The Pelicans could sell Cousins at a high value. With so little talent on the trade market and so much demand, they’d likely be moving their asset at an opportune moment.
If Anthony Davis is really isn’t moving anytime soon, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, perhaps New Orleans will boogie away from Cousins.