DeMarcus Cousins is sidelined with a reported torn ACL. The injury to the Los Angeles Lakers big man could not come at a worse time considering the history and all Boogie has gone through the past few years.
“It’s a setback,” former Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat big man Greg Oden told NBA scribe, Landon Buford.
“I think DeMarcus was looking forward to coming out and proving to everyone that he is still one of the best players in the league at the center position. For something like that to happen to him, I know he is feeling down because he wants to play.”
As a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, two seasons ago, Cousins suffered a serious Achilles’ injury.
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DeMarcus Cousins’ Tough Injury Stretch
Boogie posted 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists for New Orleans before tearing his Achilles last January.
The four-time NBA All Star, who signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal to play for the Golden State Warriors last season, returned to the Warriors’ lineup in January and posted an impressive 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals in 30 regular-season games.
“It’s a team full of high IQs,” Cousins told me in September. “I believe everyone on our team has a very high IQ when it comes to the game of basketball. All of us know how to play the game of basketball.”
“We got guys with the same characteristics that– it’s like play-doh,” he told me. “You can mold them into whatever you want them to be.”
Cousins had never appeared in the NBA Playoffs until this season. Despite injuring his quad and missing 14 playoff games, Boogie did return to the Warriors’ lineup in time for the NBA Finals.
“Us as players we just want to play, want to have fun and enjoy the game,” Greg Oden told Landon Buford.
“When are not able to do that it is tough because you are taken away from something we enjoy doing. I know he is down right now, but I hope the best for him. DeMarcus is one of those guys that is looked at a little bit differently, but if you get the chance to know him, you will find out that he’s very intelligent.”
DeMarcus Cousins’ NBA Free Agency
It was believed at the start of NBA free agency, that Boogie had interest from the New York Knicks. The Warriors entered NBA free agency able to sign DeMarcus Cousins on a one-year tender of $6.4 million.
That changed when the Warriors re-signed Kevon Looney and the Warriors completed a sign and trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets which brought D’Angelo Russell to town in exchange for Kevin Durant.
The Heat also had a high interest in signings Cousins.
“An in shape DeMarcus is a healthy DeMarcus,” a source shared with me in June. “I hope he goes there.”
Boogie ultimately went to LA and joined the Lakers.
LA missed out on signing Kawhi Leonard this summer. But, six players returned from last season. That list includes LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso.
In addition to Cousins, Lakers newcomers include Anthony Davis, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels and rookie Talen Horton-Tucker. The team also have a new head coach in Frank Vogel and assistant coach in Jason Kidd.
Lakers’ 2019-20 Outlook
LeBron joined the Lakers last summer, and now entering year two, all eyes are set on LA-LA land.
LeBron James’ first season in Los Angeles wasn’t as prosperous as many imagined.
James injured his groin on Christmas Day and returned to the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup at the end of January after a very strenuous rehab process.
“I just [hope] for his sake if he wins here it’ll just add a couple extra shiny pages to his book,” Shaquille O’Neal told Scoop B Radio.
“The book is already done but if he can win here it’ll just put because just going into Staples Center and look at those people up there those are some very impressive names.”
With DeMarcus down due to injury, don’t expect Anthony Davis to pick up the slack if Cousins misses game action.
According to NBATV’s Jared Greenberg, a high ranking Lakers official shared with him that Anthony Davis will NOT play big minutes at the center position.
At his introductory press conference, Davis let that be known. “I like playing the four,” Davis said last month.
“I’m not even going to sugar coat it. If it comes down to it, coach, and you need me to play the five, I’ll play the five.”
With Cousins down, Dwight Howard is rumored to potentially be on the verge of joining the Lakers. That’s the latest from the free agency rumor mill. According to Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni, the Lakers are interested in Howard after DeMarcus Cousins’ injury earlier this week.
An 8-time NBA All-Star, Howard has averaged 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds throughout his NBA career.
The first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Howard, an Olympic gold medalist made a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals where the Orlando Magic were defeated by the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers.
Howard, 33, is looking to return to next NBA season injury-free.
“I think I’ve done an excellent job of playing basketball my whole life,” Howard told me in June.
“My resume is something that, you know, I don’t really have to speak for. I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to play basketball. So, I think I’ve done an excellent job of playing.”
Howard is a five-time All-Defensive team member, has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award three times and also took home the NBA Slam Dunk Contest crown.
Last summer, the Washington Wizards signed Howard after he was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to the Brooklyn Nets and was eventually being bought out.
When on the floor for the Wizards, Howard was effective this season.
He averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game.
“I am excited to get back to work next season,” Dwight Howard told me in June. “I’m going to continue to get better, continue to smile and continue to enjoy life.”