nba Cousins trolls Zaza: 'He's a better player than me right now' by Chris Walder 12h ago USA Today Sports

If the All-Star ballots are any indication of how the world's best basketball pros rank among each other, then several elite frontcourt players in the Western Conference need to elevate their games to get on Zaza Pachulia's level.

Pachulia sits second with 439,675 votes in the first round of polling, well ahead of Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins, who has obliterated him in nearly every major statistical category, but still trails by more than 200,000 votes to the Golden State Warriors center.

Cousins joked with CBS Sacramento's Carmichael Dave prior to the Kings' meeting with the Warriors on Sunday that he needs to play as well as Pachulia to land a starting nod on the All-Star squad in New Orleans.

"Big Zaza, man … I gotta work on my game," Boogie said sarcastically. "I gotta get better. It's like that sometimes. He's a better player than me right now. I gotta accept it … he's just giving me something to work towards."

Related – Draymond: Cousins 'is the best big man in the game hands down'

During the first possession of the game, Cousins was given the ball in the post and spun past Pachulia, leaving him in the dust en route to an open two-handed jam. The move was so vicious, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called a timeout just 18 seconds into the opening quarter.