Blogtable: Is DeMarcus Cousins the 'best big man' in NBA?
Each week, we ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
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Draymond Green is a big fan of DeMarcus Cousins, calling the Kings’ center the “Best big man in the game. Period.” Agree? Or disagree?
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David Aldridge: You have to be specific; are you asking who the best center is, or the best big man? ‘Cause Boogie is the best center in the league, but I don’t think he’s the best big man. I still think that’s Anthony Davis.
Steve Aschburner: I do not agree with Draymond Green, because if ever there were a description that didn’t deserve a “period,” it is this one. That’s the whole point with Cousins, that the qualifiers needed beyond any initial claim that he’s the league’s “best big man” or “most talented center” hinder or even outweigh the first part. His career has been defined by the “except…” or the “but…” necessarily attached to such sentences. As in Except for his petulant, self-absorbed ways … But he’ll get his coach fired along the way … Save the “period” for the game’s true absolutes. Such as LeBron James (“best player, period”). And Steph Curry (“best shooter, period”). And Green (“best headline generator, period”).
Fran Blinebury: Absolutely agree, if we’re just going by personal stats. But if wins and taking ownership in the locker room mean anything, then I’m kicking back (see what I did there?) at Draymond.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Tremendous talent, maybe the best big man that way, although I might still go with a healthy Anthony Davis. But not the best big man all things considered, as in dependability and winning personality. Put it this way: Cousins does so many things well and he might still not be among the first three centers/power forwards picked if they all went into a draft today, and maybe not even the top five. GMs would rather build around Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, and that’s without even getting into the position semantics of Kevin Durant and others as power forwards. Joel Embiid isn’t as good as Cousins now, but I could also see someone preferring to invest in his future over Cuz.
Shaun Powell: What’s the definition of big man? You mean center? Well, Green might have a case. You mean a guy at the power positions? Well, give me Anthony Davis, who does just as much and causes no headaches. And I’ll even take Karl-Anthony Towns at this point, someone who’s younger and lower maintenance as well. Cousins’ talent is unquestioned but we must examine the complete package instead of picking and choosing what to like about him.
John Schuhmann: Disagree. If he was the best big man in the game, his team wouldn’t rank 25th defensively (in the bottom 10 for the sixth straight season). Being the best big man in the game requires consistent effort on both ends of the floor and the leadership that Cousins is lacking. I’d put Cousins behind Marc Gasol and Green himself, in a group with LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Sekou Smith: I disagree with Draymond on Cousins being the best big man, “period.” Anthony Davis doesn’t allow for a slam dunk case for Cousins holding that distinction. They are the first two names on my list and it’s difficult to separate the two. Cousins certainly could make a case as the most dominant, low-post big man (when he feels like working down there). But the way his game has expanded to and beyond the 3-point line, he’s moving into territory that Davis owns for big men. Again, they are both All-Stars and the two guys I think of first when the discussion turns to the best big men in the game. Period.
Ian Thomsen: I would say he’s right … for now. When Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid are leading their teams into the playoffs, then Green will be referring to them. What separates those three from Cousins is their strong leadership potential to go with their diversity of skills
Lang Whitaker: I agree, and the numbers — 28 and 10, at 26 years old — would seem to back up me and Draymond. To me, the only thing keeping Cousins from reaching critical mass as the best center in the game are the antics that have nothing to do with basketball. The frequency of these incidents seem to have slowed somewhat, but people (and chairs and the Internet) have long memories.
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