Sacramento Kings vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac has insisted that DeMarcus Cousins is the most talented big man he’s ever seen.
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Divac joined the team last month and has spent two weeks on the road with the players in order to gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and to gain more knowledge on the roster.
While he is expected to help with the European scouting and help the big men improve and develop their game, the former Kings star believes that he hasn’t seen any one as talented as Cousins in his position, and that includes Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal.
“I’ve been in basketball a long, long time, and I have to say he’s the most talented big guy I have ever seen,” Divac said Monday, as reported by ESPN.
“Shaq wasn’t talented — he was just strong. I was talented, but I wasn’t strong.”
O’Neal and Divac were involved in some battles during their playing careers, and the latter joked that the dominant big man “was always my boss” given that Shaq is now a minority owner with the team after knocking Divac and the Kings out of the playoffs in three straight seasons between 1999-2001.
Divac added that there is enough offensive talent on the team to be dangerous, but the team certainly needs to improve on the defensive end if they are to move forward next season and compete for a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Cousins is averaging 23.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game this season and received his first All-Star call-up last month.
However, Divas has called on him to become even more of a leader for the team and make everyone around him better with his passing ability and scoring prowess.
Cousins will undoubtedly benefit from having the Kings great around, with Divac leading the franchise to the playoffs six times in six seasons with his departure in 2004 marking the end of their competitive run.