Is The Headband The Real Secret to the Success of Demarcus Cousins
Demarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins has been a polarising figure in the NBA ever since being drafted with the 5th pick of the 2010 draft by the Sacramento Kings. He is known to be extremely emotional on the court, always wears a headband, consistently averages around 15 technical fouls per season, often leading the league in that undesirable category and never getting less than 12 in any season where he played over 50 games (ESPN, 2018).
Despite his infamous reputation for being a bit of a hothead, he is also undeniably a great player. He has been selected to 4 all-star games including the 2018 all-star game in which he was selected as a starter but unfortunately couldn’t play due to the achilles tear he suffered just a few weeks prior to the game. Most people would have him as a top 20 player in the league and it is not a stretch to suggest that he is even top 10. He is very much in the conversation for best big man in the league. I would personally put him at number 2 on that list behind former teammate Anthony Davis, but ahead of other bigs, Joel Embiid, Porzingis, Jokic, and Karl Anthony-Towns.
Another thing that Demarcus Cousins is known for is his customary headband that he always wears to every NBA game. Clearly he doesn’t wear it to hold back his hair, but it may be just for the functional use of mopping up forehead sweat, or even as a fashion accessory to just break up the space on his forehead which is seemingly massive due to his sadly receding hairline.
One of those reasons may have initially been the case but nowadays I think it is more likely to be a favourite accessory of his because of a reason that a lot of NBA players attribute their habits to, which is simply superstition. There are so many superstition stories that you hear about NBA players doing throughout their careers, but probably none so more famous than Michael Jordan’s. He supposedly always wore his practice shorts from his college (North Carolina) underneath his Bulls shorts for every single NBA game, just for good luck. There are so many others which you can find easily online, ranging from Caron Butler chewing up to 12 straws per game, to Jason Terry sleeping in his opponent’s actual game shorts the night before he plays against them (BR, 2012).
Admittedly, Demarcus Cousins’ superstitious wearing of his headband isn’t as weird as those other ones I just mentioned, but it still probably has the same effect. He just needs it to get by each game and from a mental standpoint, Boogie probably just wouldn’t be the same player without his headband. And after all, his mentality is what makes Demarcus one of the most entertaining and polarising players in the game today.
Bleacher Report. 2012. 8 Strange NBA superstitions you have to read to believe. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1120943-7-strange-nba-superstitions-you-have-to-read-to-believe#slide3
ESPN. 2018. Demarcus Cousins Stats. http://www.espn.com/nba/player/stats/_/id/4258/demarcus-cousins