DeMarcus Cousins has seen a significant change in his career trajectory since last season.
After being traded from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans, Cousins was playing alongside another star in Anthony Davis and staring at a max deal at the end of his expiring contract.
Big changes for Cousins
Then he tore his Achilles tendon. The Pelicans let him walk as a free agent, and Cousins eventually signed a one-year, prove-it deal with the Warriors for $5.3 million instead of a long-term, nine-figure contract.
Now competing for a championship and showing signs of a recovery that could land him a long-term deal somewhere this offseason, Cousins is looking to leave behind a significant portion of his identity.
Cousins: ‘I don’t want to be called Boogie’
He told The Undefeated that he doesn’t want to be called “Boogie” anymore in a story published Friday.
“I don’t want to be Boogie,” Cousins told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. “I just wanna be DeMarcus.”
There’s a lot of weight behind “Boogie,” who’s known as much for his quick temper and lack of winning in the NBA as he is for his immense talent. It’s a nickname he picked up as a Kentucky freshman for his moves on the court, as his mother relayed to The Undefeated.
Spears’ story goes into Cousins’ transition from a young, healthy star who was the center of attention on bad teams to a player who’s taken a secondary role on a star-studded champion, spending a large part of his season rehabbing and recovering.
“The past year has slowed me down,” Cousins told Spears. “It’s helped me see the reality of this whole business, just appreciating every moment.”
It’s an opportunity for Cousins to rewrite his story. He’d like to leave a big part of his past behind in the process.
More from Yahoo Sports: