DeMarcus Cousins 'felt like a kid on Christmas' in Warriors debut
DeMarcus Cousins said he felt "like a kid on Christmas" after ending a year-long injury absence by making his long-awaited Golden State Warriors debut on Friday.
The four-time All-Star scored 14 points in his 15 minutes on the court before being fouled out as the Warriors eased to a seventh straight win with a 112-94 success over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Cousins had not played since tearing his Achilles on January 26, 2018 when playing for the New Orleans Pelicans.
He joined an already-stacked Golden State roster in the offseason and was delighted to finally return to the court after so long out.
"It felt like a kid on Christmas," he said in a post-match news conference.
"It's been a long journey. This was probably one of the best days of my life just being out there on the floor again, playing the game that I love."
Cousins made an instant impression in a Warriors jersey by throwing down a huge dunk for his first points, a moment that he particularly enjoyed.
"I'm just glad to know I can still dunk," he joked.
"It felt good. I never in a million years thought that would have been my first basket playing ball again. I liked how it happened. I wouldn't have changed it."
Having been used to seeing double-teams when with the Pelicans and Sacramento Kings, Cousins enjoyed more space when playing alongside the likes of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
Not known for his long-range shooting, Cousins went three-for-four from beyond the arc.
"I wonder what the scouting report is on me right now," he said.
"I mean, I can shoot, but I'll take it! It made my life a little easier so I'm not mad at it."
Cousins also conceded he was apprehensive about his return but soon felt at ease.
"I was extremely nervous, I was texting my family and friends before the game," he said.
"I was telling them how nervous I was. They were like, 'Man, you've been doing this your whole life. It's kind of like riding a bike - once you learn, you never forget'.
"I was nervous all the way up until [tip-off], my stomach was tight, butterflies. But once the ball went up, everything kind of went out the window and it all felt familiar."