Kings fans give DeMarcus Cousins a standing ovation in his return to Sacramento

DeMarcus Cousins might regret not trying to leave Sacramento sooner. But when the New Orleans Pelicans big man returned to California’s capital on Thursday night to take on his former team, Sacramento Kings fans welcomed him with open arms, showing him appreciation for all he did during his 6 1/2 years in a Kings uniform.

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Cousins received loud cheers from the fans in the stands at Golden 1 Center when he was introduced in the Pelicans’ starting lineup. When Cousins opened the game with a dunk, though, boos quickly and appropriately rose up to meet him.

During a stoppage in play midway through the first quarter, the Kings paid tribute to Cousins’ tenure with the team — a stretch that saw him make three All-Star appearances and earn two All-NBA Second Team nods — with a brief, but warm video presentation:


Cousins’ run with the Kings was marked more by tumult and controversy than winning, and the gifted but mercurial big man certainly hasn’t pulled any punches in his assessment of how the Kings’ ownership and front office comported itself both during his tenure and in trading him to New Orleans during the 2017 All-Star Game. But whatever his feelings toward the coaches, executives, teammates and reporters with whom he clashed over the years, Cousins always seemed to hold the community in Sacramento close to his heart.

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It was cool, and mighty big, of the Kings to give that community a chance to laud Cousins one more time, and for him to acknowledge them with a wave of his giant hand, before getting back about the business of — as Boogie himself put it last year — going in, playing hard and trying to get a win.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!