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February 17, 2017

DeMarcus Cousins

New Orleans, Louisiana

Q. When big guys like you start training, how does that change what you're doing defensively?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: How does it change it defensively?

Q. Yeah. Does it make your job more difficult?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Oh, trying to guard bigs? It does. It kind of becomes habit throughout the years. You're running back, you're running straight to the paint waiting to defend because you've got bigs now stopping at the three, and you may be back in the paint because it's a habit. It creates a little problem for you.

The game is changing. You got to kind of shake some old habits. I think it's just showing the evolution of the game. It's grown.

Q. When you have guys like DeAndre [Jordan] who doesn't shoot that, does it almost flip your mentality?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: It makes your job that much easier.

Q. This is Paul Pierce's final year. What did he bring to the game?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Oh, man, Paul Pierce is the reason I started wearing a headband. I mean, what he's done for the game, his proof is in the pudding. Me saying anything about it is just another comment. His legacy, what he's done for the game -- the biggest thing about him I enjoyed was his competitive nature. No matter who it was in front of him, he was trying to take their head off. You've just got to appreciate a player like that.

Q. What's it like being around all these other all stars?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: What's it like? For some reason, I feel like I was just around all these guys a couple of months ago, so it kind of feels like a reunion. It's a good group of guys. We have a lot of fun together. Full of laughs, full of jokes. It's a fun time.

Q. The first thing you have tomorrow is the Skills Challenge. What's your strategy going into that?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Make sure I have shoes that fit this year.

Q. DeMarcus, what was your first dunk ever? Do you remember it?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: No, I don't remember.

Q. Have you ever done a dumb dunk?

Q. When was it?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: It was in high school. I tried to do a 360 on a fast break, and my leg like gave out.

Q. Why did you try and do that?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Just feeling myself that game.

Q. Did a guard get up on you?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Yeah, it was a fast break attempt. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. I never tried it again.

Q. Do you remember how old you were?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: It was my senior year of high school.

Q. Can you talk about the whole experience this week, what it means to be here playing this game, all that stuff?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: It's a great experience. I think it's a good city. This is considered a home game for me. I'm excited about that aspect of it. There's going to be a lot of people. Like they said earlier, it kind of runs into Mardi Gras. I think that will make that experience better for guys that haven't experienced that yet. I'm excited. I'm excited to eat.

Q. What's on the menu?

Q. Crawfish?

Q. Suck the head?

Q. You're not going to do that, huh? That's what the natives do, you know that.
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Yeah, I'm cool.

Q. So crawfish is it, yeah?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Yeah, absolutely.

Q. Will you have a lot of people from Mobile coming over?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: I do. I have a lot of family in town. I'm excited about that.

Q. How do you guys look at this whole K.D.-Russ thing? I know we do, and we blow it up. As somebody who's kind of in that locker room and knows kind of what is going on --
DeMARCUS COUSINS: I think it's a little overhyped, honestly. Those guys were friends for eight-plus years, whatever it is. I think it will be fine.

Q. You're not going to try to get them together? You're not going to be the peacemaker in this?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: I won't say that on camera. We're here to play ball, man.

Q. Can you guys make a playoff run?

Q. What gives you confidence that that could happen?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: That's one thing. Our team's confidence is there. We believe we can make it. We're playing the best basketball of the year right now. I see nothing but pluses for us right now. I'm confident we'll make the push.

Q. In that playoff race, DeMarcus, obviously, you're battling Portland and Denver, and they just made a trade. Do you think that could help one team or the other? Does that make a difference to you at all?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: I can't worry about the next team. I'm only concerned about myself and my team. That's all that matters.

Q. You played Karl-Anthony Towns this season. How much progress have you seen from him since his rookie season?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Karl is outstanding. One of my favorite things to watch besides A&E (laughter). I'm sorry. I forgot what I was saying.

Q. Karl-Anthony Towns.
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Yeah, he's an incredible player now, very talented, hard working. Confidence is through the roof. He knows he's good, so that's a good thing. I got nothing but love for him. He's a fellow Wildcat, so nothing but love.

Q. DeMarcus, I was watching a video that you took over the summer. You were out in Vegas and went out on the jet skis. You had those two dogs with you. Are those your dogs?

Q. What kind of dogs were those?

Q. What are their names?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Cane and Gotti.

Q. When you're traveling, where do they stay?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: They stay at my house. I have people at my house. They babysit the dogs.

Q. Did you grow up with dogs?

Q. What kind?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Pit bulls. I've had pit bulls my entire life.

Q. What's your favorite thing about owning a dog?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: The bond and loyalty between me and the dog.

Q. When you're on the road, do you miss them? Do your friends send pictures?
DeMARCUS COUSINS: Do I miss them? No. They drive me crazy when I'm home. But those are my guys, man.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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