It’s not often that players aim to be like Tim Duncan, but that’s the case when it comes to DeMarcus Cousins.

The Sacramento Kings big man expressed his admiration for Duncan after the Kings fell to the Spurs, 112-104, Sunday night.

He even confessed his plan to use Duncan’s signature shot.

“A lot of people hate on Tim Duncan,” Cousins said, “but to me, he’s one of the best to play this game. … We’re similar because we’re not athletic guys, but we know how to use our bodies; we know how to use our size and we kind of have a similar skill set.”

Cousins gets a bad rep because of his attitude and maturity problems, including an incident with ex-Spur and current team broadcaster Sean Elliott that resulted in a two-game suspension by the NBA.

The two reportedly got into a shouting match after Elliott criticized Cousins for trash-talking to Duncan during a game last November.
Asked if he’s put that incident behind him, Cousins said: “Yeah, I’m past that. I’m on to bigger things now.”

Attitude aside, there’s no denying the 23-year-old Cousins is one of the most talented up-and-coming big men in the game.

He leads NBA forwards in scoring (22.9 points) and is fourth in rebounds. Sunday against the Spurs he had 29 points and 14 rebounds.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called him “very talented and real aggressive.”
Kings coach Mike Malone acknowledges Cousins’ talent, but says he’s also growing in other ways.

“I think he’s trying to mature and grow into a leader and it’s a process,” Malone said, “He’s not there yet. He has a ways to go in a lot of areas, but that’s the exciting thing for me, looking at where he’s at and where he can be.

“He’s got so much untapped potential basketball-wise and as a leader.”

Cousins said he’s trying to incorporate Duncan’s bank shot into his game, but concedes it’s still a work in progress.

“I was a lot more aggressive with it early in the season,” he said, “but I’ve fallen away from it now. But that’s a shot that a lot of people underrate. It’s a real good shot.”