At the end of next month, Team USA will head to Spain for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. DeMarcus Cousins could be among the 12 team roster hoping to defend USA's 2010 championship.
Cousins has been in the Team USA system for a few years now, but this is his first real chance of making the roster, especially after big men Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge all withdrew their names for consideration. That leaves Cousins and Anthony Davis as the two most prominent big men on the roster.
Last season, Cousins made a big leap in his game, and this year the Kings are going to need him to do it again. With Isaiah Thomas gone, Cousins and Gay are the primary scorers for this Kings team. It will also be up to Cousins to be a leader by example on the other end of the court. That's why being on Team USA could be so huge for him. Cousins can be around a guy like Kevin Durant and perhaps focus on improving things like defense and ball movement.
More importantly he can get a taste for winning again, and winning on a big stage. I don't question Cousins' desire to win, but it's been 4 years, 4 long years since Cousins last tasted success back at the University of Kentucky. In that time the Kings haven't come close to sniffing the playoffs and haven't even yet managed to win 30 games in a season. Cousins needs this experience, he needs to remember what it's like to win and he needs to bring that mentality back to this young Kings team. In the NBA, you're only as good as your best players, and this Kings team will only go as far as Cousins will take them. Hopefully his experience with USA basketball this summer can carry over into the NBA season and the leap we saw Cousins take last year will be magnified in seasons to come.