DeMarcus Cousins enters pivotal week

This is when it starts, this new day for DeMarcus Cousins.

His return visit with the U.S. national team – the chance to enhance his prospects as a future Olympian – is also his latest and perhaps best opportunity to obliterate the past and sketch a more favorable, embraceable image.

The suspensions. The locker room feuds. The verbal tangle with a television analyst. The communication dust-up a year ago with the USA Basketball czar.

With issue-free participation in this week’s minicamp, Cousins redirects his career. He wins over his critics, empowers his advocates and delivers a strong message to his new bosses and his curious fans back in Sacramento.

But he has decisions to make and thoughts to be shared. He has undertaken a strange vow of silence – his feelings about the dramatic developments in Sacramento are unclear – while his new agent (Dan Fegan) privately seeks a five-year maximum contract before the Oct. 31 deadline.

Reported by Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee