Otis Hughley, DeMarcus Cousins‘ high school and NBA coach checked in with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson & the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Press Play Below to listen!
During a slow news day, last week, the internet caused a stir when New Orleans Pelicans center, DeMarcus Cousins, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, unfollowed the Pels on Instagram.
Big deal, right?
When asked by one of his followers on ‘the gram,’ why he unfollowed NOLA, Boogie replied: “I’m Grown.”
That he is!
In fact, at 6-11 and 270 pounds, Boogie was an overgrown stats stuffer for the Pelicans in 48 games this season.
For those keeping tabs at home, Boogie posted 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists for New Orleans before tearing his Achilles in January.
The injury would keep the center out for the rest of the season and make folks wonder: “what if Boogie had not been injured in the Pelicans’ second-round NBA Playoffs matchup with the Golden State Warriors?”
“I think it would’ve been more of a series,” Otis Hughley, Cousins’ high school basketball coach at LeFlore Magnet High School in Mobile, Alabama told me this week on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I think they would’ve probably taken it to 6, maybe even 7, with an opportunity to possibly win.”
In seven seasons as head coach at the Mobile, Alabama high school, Hughley guided them to an impressive 185-20 record. While there, he played an integral part in developing Cousins as a player. “He plays below the rim most times, although he has surprising explosiveness,” said Hugley.
“His game is cerebral, and he plays around and he plays the angles, he plays in position, he thinks the game. He doesn’t have to depend so much on being athletic or super quick or fast. He doesn’t have to have that. If he gets his weight to where it was before, or down where it was in college or high school, it’s going to be a scary thing to see this kid. Really scary.”
No stranger to the hoops scene, quietly Hughley has coached in China and developed NBA big men like Brook Lopez, Al Jefferson, Zach Randolph and Tyson Chandler.
Hughley was on the Warriors’ staff during the Mark Jackson era and was lured into coaching by way of Bob Hurley, coaching royalty at the now-closed Saint Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, New Jersey.
By the way, Hughley also had the distinction of coaching Cousins on the pro-level when he became a Sacramento Kings assistant coach during Cousins’ first few years with the team.
Cousins, joined the Pelicans last year in a blockbuster trade that would combine he and fellow Kentucky Wildcat, Anthony Davis.
With all of the degrees of separation with Cousins, here’s the multi-million dollar question:
Will Cousins re-sign with the Pelicans or sign with other teams like the Los Angeles Lakers or the Philadelphia 76ers who are on the rise and/or have viable cap space?
“He’s loyal, he wants to be in New Orleans, that I know,” said Hughley.
“I would like to see him play with AD again, but the way the business model was set up, and the salary cap may make it tougher for New Orleans to step out there. I think everybody is trying to play leverage and hoping that everybody would fall out so they could get him for 10 cents on the dollar. Demarcus is way too smart for that.”