KEY POINTS

  • The Los Angeles Clippers signed DeMarcus Cousins for the rest of the season
  • Cousins praised the organization for his new deal
  • The Clippers once had a laughable free agency pitch for Blake Griffin

Once the subject of ridicule after a cringe-worthy free agency pitch that never lived up to expectations, the Los Angeles Clippers organization is now being praised.

After the Clippers signed center DeMarcus Cousins for the remainder of the 2020-21 season, the six-time All-Star made a candid statement about the Western Conference contenders.

The Clippers kept Cousins after consecutive 10-day contracts where he was able to contribute significantly off the bench.

In the nine games the big man has played, he has normed 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per outing.

Following his new deal, Cousins didn't mince words in applauding the Clippers management, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:

"This culture is one of a kind. Definitely one of the top organizations I have ever been a part of," he said.

The comment made by Cousins reflects how the Clippers have treated the 30-year-old veteran, who is just trying to stay relevant in the league.

Cousins had bounced off from one team to another. In 2018, he signed with the Golden State Warriors, noting that no other franchise reached out to him.

It also speaks highly of the Clippers organization in general—the subject of criticism in recent years.

In 2017, the team had an elaborate and bizarre pitch trying to convince Blake Griffin to be a Clipper for life.

The team displayed his jersey above the Staples Center rafters to mimic a jersey retirement ceremony, and likened him to historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and M.K. Gandhi.

Griffin inked a five-year, $171 million extension, but was traded six months after to the Detroit Pistons for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, and a slew of draft picks.

But the way the Clippers transformed themselves into title-chasers with the arrival of All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George helped change the perception.

Even during the off-season when they signed Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum, the Clippers showed they can compete as a preferred free-agency destination.

Cousins played 25 games for the struggling Houston Rockets to begin the season. He averaged 9.6 markers and 7.6 boards but was released.

The Clippers then picked him up to fortify their interior rotation, and Cousins seems to have found his groove.

Coach Ty Lue's team is 43-21 in the West, and is hopeful to finally bring home an NBA title that shall reward the hard work of key personnel, like two-time Executive of the Year Jerry West and President Lawrence Frank.

Before the 2020-21 season, Cousins signed for a year with the Los Angeles Lakers, but his campaign was derailed by a torn ACL.

He never suited up for the defending champions and became a free agent the summer after.

The 2014 FIBA World Cup champion has career averages of 20.6 points and 10.6 rebounds in 11 seasons that also had stints with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.

DeMarcus Cousins DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Los Angeles Clippers dribbles against DaQuan Jeffries #55 of the Houston Rockets during the first quarter at Toyota Center on April 23, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Photo: Getty Images | Carmen Mandato