“A little delusional,” Before her scandal in Russia, Brittney Griner challenged NBA’s Demarcus Cousins to 1v1 battle
Brittney Griner challenged DeMarcus Cousins to 1v1 (Image Courtesy - USA Today/NBC News)
Brittney Griner was one of the best women’s basketball players to represent the United States of America national basketball ball team. In 2016, Griner was determined to take her country to glory at the Rio Olympics and was confident in her abilities to do so. So much so that, she was ready to take on the men’s team’s 6’10” DeMarcus Cousins.
While both the women’s and men’s national teams traveled to Brazil to win gold medals, which they did at the end of the tournament, Brittney Griner vowed to beat DeMarcus Cousins in a game of one-vs-one basketball. The Phoenix Mercury player was doubted heavily by the men’s team when they were made known about this challenge. The “Boogie” himself brushed this challenge off and said there was no chance of Griner beating him in a 1v1. “I’m glad she’s confident in her abilities, but umm…it’s also a little delusional,” said Cousins in response.
Kevin Durant, who was Cousins’ teammate in the 2016 US national team believed there was no chance that the WNBA superstar was going to beat “Boogie”. In 2016, DeMarcus was one of the most dominant players in the NBA playing for the Sacramento Kings. “I like the confident BG, but I don’t know if that’s gonna happen,” said KD who would go on to play with DeMarcus Cousins for the Golden State Warriors a few years after their international success.
WNBA Griner took no offense to the men writing her off. Instead, she revealed she’d take that as fuel for her motivation. Geno Auriemma, the national team coach back then was brutally honest about the potential matchup and said, “I’m gonna go to the ATM, I’m gonna sell my house, and going to put all my money on DeMarcus Cousins.”
Throwback to when Brittney Griner said she can beat Boogie in a 1v1 😭 pic.twitter.com/LSwLL8FURz— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) December 8, 2022
Brittney Griner vs DeMarcus Cousins at the 2016 Rio Olympics
We might have not gotten to see the two players go one on one during their time in Rio de Janeiro but we sure got to see the two stars perform for their country and help the USA bag gold medals. Brittney Griner was supposed to play her first Olympics in 2012 but given that she was still in college, the player decided to back down from that opportunity.
However, in 2016, Griner made history by becoming one of the handful of players in women’s basketball to have won the Olympic gold medal, the FIBA World Cup gold medal, and the WNBA title. Griner scored 78 points in her tourney in Rio averaging 9.8 points. The women’s USA team went up against Spain in the finals and played a fantastic game to become the winner.
DeMarcus Cousins, who was a great himself had company with him in the 2016 national team. Playing along with the likes of Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, and many other stars, “Boogie” averaged, 9.1 points and accumulated 73 points in the entire 2016 Olympics.