Warriors star DeMarcus Cousins is working on changing his image ahead of free agency.
Cousins revealed in an interview with "The Undefeated" that he no long wants to identify by his nickname of "Boogie."
“It’s just like, Jesus Christ! It’s so much extra put on with ‘Boogie,’” Cousins said. “I don’t want to be Boogie. I just wanna be DeMarcus.
“I want my family and myself to be comfortable wherever I am at the time, and just be able to relax and kind of let my hair down. I’m going to be judged. My life is in a fishbowl. They gonna love you and they gonna hate you. I’m being the best me every day."
The Undefeated explained the two different stories behind Cousins' nickname, calling one "apocryphal" with some truth and one true:
"One begins in Alabama, where there’s a proprietary way big black bodies get treated by the people who need them to win ballgames. As a 6-foot-9-inch 10th-grader, Cousins was kicked off his Birmingham high school team after an altercation with a coach on the bus after a game. Soon, people were saying that Cousins had beaten up his coach — because with Cousins, the story always gets bigger — and that was the beginning of the Boogie Man.
"Cousins’ mother, Monique, retells the real Boogie Cousins origin story: about how former NBA star Rod Strickland, then an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky, where Cousins was a one-and-done, became enchanted by the smoothness of the big man’s moves and chalked it all up to the 'boogie' in him."
Cousins enters the free agency market this summer after signing a one-year deal with the Warriors last offseason. He worked through an Achilles injury (suffered in January 2018) for much of the season, and averaged 16.3 points with 8.2 rebounds in 30 games this season.
Cousins will play in the postseason for the first time in his NBA career when the Warriors face the Clippers in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs.