Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal plans to mentor DeMarcus Cousins

Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal met with new Sacramento Kings owners Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov on Thursday night, and the three discussed The Big Diesel taking on a role where he would provide mentorship to Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins

“I’m going to make DeMarcus Cousins the best big man in the game,” O’Neal told Sacramento’s CBS affiliate in an interview

Cousins is immensely talented and has all the tools to be an elite player in the NBA. What he does lack, however, is the mental fortitude and maturity to separate himself from any other talented player. He has outstanding potential, however, and that’s likely what Shaq sees. It’s just a wonder how that dynamic is going to work, or, how it even got started.

The meeting in itself holds a bit of irony since O’Neal famously labeled the Kings’ franchise the “Queens” during the 2000 NBA Playoffs as the two teams fought for Western Conference supremacy. Cousins’ skills on the court have never been in questions, and if Shaq can help him refine them and coach him to have more mental focus, then Cousins can live up to those lofty expectations. 

Numbers don’t lie, and with career averages of 16.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and a 45 percent field goal percentage with the ability to stretch the floor, Cousins is worth taking a chance on, even if it takes awhile. 

The 22-year-old will also be an unrestricted free agent following the 2013-14 season, at which point the Lakers could be looking for their next franchise leader. Although he’s nowhere close to being there at this point, there could be a potential fit if things go the way Shaq has indicated. 

Enjoy ome of Shaqs most famous quotes, including the “Queens” blast: 

Photo Credit: Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.


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