The recent injury history for DeMarcus Cousins has not been easy to swallow, but there’s finally some good news surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers big man.
Cousins suffered a torn ACL in August during a workout in Las Vegas, seemingly ending his season before it started. However, that might not be the case. The Lakers are leaving the door open for the four-time All-Star to return this season and he appears closer than ever.
Cousins was seen working on his midrange game at the Lakers’ facility prior to their game against the Pelicans on Friday night. He’s still a ways away from being able to play in a game, but head coach Frank Vogel told reporters that it’s possible he plays this season, saying he’s been cleared for what he referred to as “light warmup stuff.”
“But that’s just like light jogging and those types of things,” Vogel said. “There is still a long way to go,” Vogel said. ”As far as I know he’s still on track. He’s still a possibility to play this year, but I can’t really go into more detail.
The Lakers are currently 28-7 and the favorite to win the NBA title. The Finals are scheduled for June.
DeMarcus Cousins’ Injury History is Not Pretty
On the verge of free agency and a big contract, Cousins tore his Achilles during the 2017-18 season and settled for a one-year deal with Golden State. Cousins played a career-low in minutes (25.7) but still managed 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals, proving that he could be an elite contributor when at full health.
However, full health has been hard to come by for Cousins. He suffered a torn quad in the playoffs with the Warriors, followed by the torn ACL.
When healthy, Cousins is a versatile monster with game-changing ability. For his career, Cousins averages 21.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks.
The Lakers were fortunate to add Dwight Howard in free agency, who has had a resurgent season. JaVale McGee has also played well, combining with Howard for 14.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game.
Lakers Feeling DeMarcus Cousins’ Impact Despite Injury
Cousins might not be on the court, but he’s served a leadership role for the team in street clothes. Earlier this season, Bill Oram of The Athletic caught up with some of Lakers on what Boogie has meant to the team.
“He’s just been a great guy for us, being around the team,” said Anthony Davis, who played with Cousins in New Orleans. “Even though he’s not able to play, he’s always involved in practices and shoot-arounds and stuff like that as much as he can.”
During his time with the Kings, Cousins gained a reputation as somewhat of a bad boy with a temper, stacking up technical fouls.
However, he’s made a big impact on his Lakers teammates, showing how far he’s come in terms of his maturity.
“He’s the perfect (example of) ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’” Lakers veteran Dudley told Oram. “Because I have judged him for how he acted on the court. To see him now, to see his maturity as a man more than a basketball player, it’s impressive.”