It’s been a difficult last few years for DeMarcus Cousins. He went from being one of the most dominant big men in the NBA and a possible Hall of Famer to sitting on the bench more often than playing on the court. That has been thanks to a string of brutal injuries that have derailed his career. There may be some players in the NBA who don’t play because they love the game, but according to Cousins, the hardest part about being out is not being able to play ball.
The Los Angeles Lakers big man was recently on the All the Smoke podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and he was able to talk about a lot of things and shed some light on how he obtained his most recent injuries.
“The toughest part is missing basketball, I love to hoop, I’m not the guy who hoop just because he’s tall … I really love the game, and being far away from that alone is hard enough not including that comes everything with being away from it,” Cousins said.
The big man also mentioned that he “shouldn’t have been” where he was when he suffered his torn ACL in the summer. He also talked about how he shouldn’t have played in the NBA Finals last season, but he didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. Regardless, Cousins believes he can still return to the form that made him one of the most dominant players in the NBA. If he actually can, the Lakers’ combo of Anthony Davis and Cousins could be unstoppable.
Cousins Could Be Back Come Playoff Time
Even though Cousins’ ceiling is pretty massive, the Lakers don’t need him to return to All-Star form immediately. They just need him to get back on the court at some point this season. Luckily, head coach Frank Vogel revealed during All-Star weekend that Cousins could possibly return in time for the playoffs.
“He’s on track to get healthy by the playoffs and we’ll have to see where he’s at with rhythm, and conditioning, and timing and all that stuff,” Vogel said. “But there is a possibility he returns this season, yes.”
Vogel wasn’t very definitive, so it remains possible that the Lakers keep Cousins out for the entire year, but it’s a promising sign that he could back for some important games. He’s not going to come in and immediately put up 30 points and 15 rebounds every game, but he can still make an impact on some level.
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Cousins Praises Dwight Howard
With Cousins, Davis and Dwight Howard on the roster, the Lakers have three players who have been considered the best big man in the game at points in their careers. Howard has been on a steady decline as he’s gotten older, but he’s embraced his position as a role player for the Lakers and Cousins praised him for it.
“Just to see him having a year he’s having, having fun, playing basketball, shooting threes, jumping like he’s 25, it’s a whole redemption,” Cousins said on All the Smoke.
Howard has been a pleasant surprise for many Lakers fans. His first tenure with the team was ugly, to say the least. No, he’s not able to take over games like he could in the past, but he’s been solid off the bench and could show up big for Los Angeles once the playoffs get here.