In addition, Davis and Cousins could continue the unfinished business they had from their time together with the New Orleans Pelicans. Cousins returning healthy with the Lakers was slated to add another layer of depth and talent to a highly anticipated Los Angeles team.
Sadly, Cousins never got a chance to step on the court with the team as before 2019 NBA training camp even began, he tore his ACL. The Lakers then brought in Dwight Howard as his replacement, an experiment that has gone better than anyone expected. But through all of that, Cousins made sure to remain with the team even though he’d have every right to not want to be there.
Davis spoke about the positive impact Cousins has had on the team by just being there for everything, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic:
“He’s just been a great guy for us, being around the team,” Anthony Davis said. “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.”
Vogel also spoke about what Cousins has brought to the team despite the injury:
“It’s easy to struggle with the mental aspect of being an injured player that’s out by not participating in everything,” Vogel said last week. “So we want him in all the film sessions and practices and being with the team as much as possible.”
It’s commendable for Cousins to still want to be involved with the team despite being on a one-year deal and likely losing that entire season to a torn ACL. Most players in his situation would likely want to be as far away from basketball as possible.
However, that boost from Cousins has likely given this team a lot of added motivation this season as the Lakers have very quickly formed a brotherhood that comes with being one of the NBA’s best teams. Although it’s extremely unlikely that Cousins will return, just having him there has been helpful.