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Smack / Aug 12, 2012 / 12:00 am

Dwight Howard Has A New Rival; Team USA Plays For Gold Today

DeMarcus Cousins

Back in the day, fierce rivalries amongst the baddest big men in the game were warranted, and universally expected. Chuck could talk smack to Karl Malone about how much better he was. Shaq hated on David Robinson, and went out to turn him into a human pinball whenever they matched up. Hakeem went at the Admiral when he felt disrespected during the 1995 Western Conference Finals. And Bill Laimbeer just wanted to cheap shot everybody. It was a different era back then, and most would argue it made for more interesting basketball, more drama. Nowadays, everyone is teaming up, and with so many NBA players first meeting each other at earlier ages and then practically growing up together on the court, rivalries are scarce. As far as big men go, Andrew Bynum is probably the largest wild card, only because of the increasingly weird Andrew Bynum things he does. So we think we’re speaking for most fans when we say thank God for DeMarcus Cousins. He’s been a loose cannon his whole life – it’s part of what makes him a viable candidate to one day average 25 points, 12 rebounds, 1.7 technicals and one dirty forearm to the face a game. He’s already started a beef with Blake Griffin. Now he wants it with the best big man in the NBA, and the centerpiece of one of the most impacting NBA trades of the past decade. When he heard the news on Friday morning, Cousins welcomed Dwight Howard to L.A. by posting a picture of himself dunking on the former Orlando center on Instagram. You know Sacramento fans loved that. They haven’t had an opportunity to stand up to their bigger brothers in nearly a decade. Now, even as the Lakers load up with more firepower than the U.S. women’s 4 X 100 track team, the Kings’ fans know their centerpiece isn’t backing down … The thing about Cousins is he’s just naive enough to really believe he’s the best big man in the game, which is like wielding a double-edged sword for the Kings. On one hand, he’ll make them infinitely more competitive and a viable option on League Pass because you just never know what he’ll do. On the other, he could easily blow up over all the losing and resort to launching pull-up 20 footers. Cousins has never been the most composed of players. Should Dwight be nervous about the young cat in Cali’s capital that wants his crown? Not yet. But in a few years? This could be really fun … Speaking of Howard’s move to the West Coast, we’ve heard Kobe reaping praise on him, calling him everything from “the next in line” of the great Laker centers to, randomly, “one of the best players of all time” (who said Kobe wasn’t a good teammate?). Pau Gasol is super excited after make through his year from Hell (nearly getting traded like 47 times, and then being forced to eat the leftovers from whatever Kobe and Bynum gave him). But what about Steve Nash? No one has heard from him yet. He’s probably lost his voice from all his excited screaming … Keep reading to hear about what we should expect from the Americans in the gold medal game …

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