OAKLAND – At the mere mention of the scary, shoe-splitting spill Wednesday by prize NBA prospect Zion Williamson, Warriors star DeMarcus Cousins came out swinging.
"Knowing what I know now, college (basketball) is bulls**t," he said Thursday. "College basketball and the NCAA is bulls**t."
Projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson is four months away from life-changing wealth. When the Duke star sustained a sprained knee in a game against North Carolina, jeopardizing his value, NBA players lit up the Internet with their feelings about a multibillion-dollar business that offers zero monetary benefit to players.
"My advice to him is do what's best for you and your family," Cousins said. "Obviously, college isn't. It does nothing for you at this point. You've proven you're the No. 1 pick coming out, you've proven your talent. Get ready for the next level because it's happening.
"That's my opinion, knowing what I know now."
Cousins spent one season at Kentucky before being selected fifth overall by Sacramento in the 2010 draft. He said he "enjoyed" his time in college but acknowledges the risks involved along the path to the NBA,
"I loved my experience in college. That was some of the best years of my life, playing basketball," Cousins said. "But with that being said, just how crooked the whole NCAA business is . . .
"I actually saw a post the other day that said the (lowest ticket) for that UNC-Duke came was $2500, $3500. How much does Zion Williamson see? That's who (fans) are coming to see. So much of that is he getting? Actually, who does it go to? How does it benefit any player on that team?
"But if they were to get $20 and a free meal, they're this bad kid. They get a bad rep, ‘uncoachable or ‘thugs,' whatever the case may be. It's bulls**t. It's been bulls**t."
Cousins is also among the vast majority of NBA players that don't understand the point of the "one-and-done" rule designed to force preps to attend college for at least one year before entering the draft.
"What's the difference between 18 (years old) and 19? Between 17 and 18? You're an amateur. You're young. You're ignorant to life in general. So what's really the difference? You've still got a lot of growing to do."