While DeMarcus Cousins claims he's fully prepared to take on the challenge of playing in his first NBA Finals, his teammate Draymond Green wants him to know he's in for a rude awakening come Thursday night.
"It's kind of like a kid who grew up in the suburbs, then one day you just got dropped in the hood and are told to survive," Green said when the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau asked him his feelings on Cousins possibly returning.
Green's sentiments at Wednesday's presser in Toronto come after Cousins made it clear that he wants to be a part of the championship series. After participating in Monday's practice, Cousins explained to The Undefeated that he's willing and ready to play.
"I'm not a quitter," Cousins told Marc Spears. "It’s going to take a lot for me to fall. It’s going to take an army and a navy. I am just going to go down fighting."
Though his determination is admirable, Cousins has virtually no playoff experience. During his time with the Kings, Sacramento never graced the postseason. And although the Pelicans did make the playoffs, he never touched the floor due to a ruptured Achilles. When he finally got a chance to play in the playoffs as a member of the Warriors, he only participated in one contest before tearing his left quadriceps a minute into Game 2 of the team's opening series against the Clippers. Although this lack of exposure concerns Green, Cousins feels as though he's worked himself to a point that he can provide productive minutes.
"It’s just about getting my body in shape, my quad muscle in shape, and go through the different phases and ups and downs of the game," Cousins explained. "It has been a tough week. I’ve been working my tail off to get to this point. But I am healthy enough."
This was echoed by Warriors' superstar Steph Curry who said Cousins has "worked his butt off to give himself a chance to play to help us.
Cousins is listed as questionable for Thursday's game, and coach Steve Kerr said he'll be active.
"I think I mentioned the other day if this was the regular season I'd throw him out there and he'd play whatever minutes he could tolerate," coach Steve Kerr said in regards to Cousins' availability. "It's not the regular season. It's the Finals. We have to figure out the best way to utilize him... some of that will be determined by what's happening in the game and the other stuff is internal with our staff."