Pprior to his Achilles tear in 2017, DeMarcus Cousins had averaged at least 24 points and 10 rebounds in five consecutive seasons.
Since then, Cousins’ career has been defined by fighting through injury and it will continue to be that way after he tore his ACL in a pick-up game while preparing for the 2019-20 NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Cousins was going to be an essential part of what the Lakers were going to do this season, and it’s an unbelievably sad thing that fans won’t be able to see him make a return to his former self. Two people who were more devastated than most were Cousins’ former Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and teammate Draymond Green.
Kerr and Green were huge supporters of Cousins in his lone season with the Warriors where he spent most of his time recovering from his torn Achilles and spent almost the entire 2019 NBA playoffs healing a torn quad. Green especially was excited to see his return, putting him at a loss for words that he won’t get to, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“One of my goals coming into this season was for DeMarcus to destroy everybody and come back and show how great of a player he is and get what I think he deserves,” Green told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “I’m really at a loss for words about it. It’s one that really hurt me for sure.”
Kerr was ‘devastated’ to hear the news about Cousins as he understands the passion that he plays the game with. It’s a huge reason why both he and the Lakers took a chance on Cousins after those major injuries:
“I’m devastated for DeMarcus,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who is an assistant for Team USA and coached Cousins last season with Golden State. “It’s been a couple of years of hell for DeMarcus. … We are all crushed for him.”
Cousins will now spend the next 9-12 months rehabbing his second career altering injury in just three seasons. At best, he may be able to make his return for the 2020 playoffs, but there’s also a chance he misses the entirety of the season.
This will be an extremely difficult year for Cousins and a tough blow for the Lakers to recover from. However, despite that fact, it’s clear that Cousins will have an entire league rooting for him, and that includes Kerr and Green.