Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins talked to the media Wednesday going into tonight’s Game 6 with his Golden State Warriors — minus Kevin Durant who was injured again in Game 5 — and odds are he’ll have a prominent role if Golden State can even the series against Toronto 3-3 to force a Game 7.
Q. Without KD, how do you feel your role has changed or will change for Game 6?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: I’m not really sure, but just make sure I’m ready when my name’s called upon.
Q. Are you at a hundred percent?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: I’m healthy enough to play.
Q. After Game 5 you said that some people don’t view basketball players as human beings. How do you still come out and play in front of these people having to reckon with that?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: The same way I’ve done my entire career. This didn’t just happen, like, it’s been an ongoing situation. So I approach it the same way I always approach it.
Q. KD is out. Final game at Oracle. Talk about that?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: It will be an emotional night, regardless. Last game in Oracle, so I’m sure the fans will be fully engaged and there’s going to be a lot of emotions and a lot of passion in the building, so it’s going to be an epic night for sure.
Q. What do you think the key is to channeling all that energy?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: Coming out and playing the right way, keeping the goal in mind, which is winning the game, whatever it takes to win the game. The rest will handle itself.
Q. How do you describe the emotions of your team since Kevin went down? The ups and downs you guys have experienced.
DEMARCUS COUSINS: There’s been ups and downs this entire playoff run, so obviously we all feel for K. I mean we feel for, I mean Klay went through it, I went through it, Loon’s going through it. Draymond’s gone through it. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, like I said. So it sucks to lose key pieces to the team, but we just got to find a way to grind through it and make something happen.
Q. How do you think you have played in The Finals so far?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: I leave that to y’all.
Q. How connected does the team feel despite all the ups and downs?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: This team is together regardless. Obviously, we got one more thing to kind of motivate us. Obviously we want to come out and try to win this thing for K as well. So I guess you can say it’s another added motivation.
Q. What do you make of the road team success in this series?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: It’s been pretty weird. It’s usually tougher to win on the road, but usually you kind of play better at home. But that’s not really been the case for either team. So hopefully we change that tomorrow.
Q. What does that say that the fact that the road teams have done so well in this Finals? What does it say about the two teams, just that you guys can just block out the crowd noise, or is that — that’s pretty unusual, isn’t it?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: Usually kind of lean on one another more, just psychologically. From a mental aspect you kind of lean on each other more. I don’t know, this is a weird situation. It’s not really an answer for it, but mentally you definitely lean on each other more on the road. So that’s the best way for me to put it.
Q. Have you had any contact with KD today or yesterday?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: I talked to KD.
Q. What did he say?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: We spoke.
Q. You spoke about the rehab process, maybe something that you endured yourself?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: It’s nowhere near even close for that, right? We spoke, you give him space, you let him go through his ups and downs of emotions. Obviously you just give him his space, and then I feel like I’ll reach out when it’s the right time. Or let him reach out when he feels it’s the right time.
Q. What are your thoughts on coming back from that type of injury?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: It’s a tough process just straight up. Nobody don’t really understand that type of an injury unless you go through it yourself. So it’s tough. It’s tough.
Q. Is it as taxing mentally as it is physically?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: It’s more mental than anything. For sure. It’s more mental than anything.
Q. What does it say about this team’s mental strength that you’ve had so many injuries and so many guys go down that you are still very much in this and have a chance to push this to a Game 7 here at home?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: Just feel the fight. No matter what type of adversity hits this team we find a way to try to fight through. So that’s all we can do.
Q. What would you say to the Warriors fans who have been here in Oakland for years and years and supporting this team? Now that this is the last game here, they’re going to be moving to San Francisco, some of these fans may not make that trip or may not be able to afford it, I suppose. What do you say to those fans?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: We appreciate you through thick and thin. Hopefully the love and support continues. I can’t really say anything about being able to afford it, that’s not really my lane, but we appreciate it.
Q. Any concern with how you guys have been able to internalize this loss or this loss of KD and come in tomorrow and just kind of put all that behind you?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: Is it a concern?
DEMARCUS COUSINS: It’s not a concern. Lock in even more. We understand the void we have to fill. The next guy has to step up which has been done numerous times throughout this playoff run, so we expect the same thing.