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Lakers teammates praise DeMarcus Cousins despite absence due to injury

Lakers, DeMarcus Cousins

Despite suffering an unfortunate offseason injury, DeMarcus Cousins has been a helpful cog for the Los Angeles Lakers, a valuable one to say the least. The 6-foot-11 giant tore his ACL shortly after being signed by the team, forcing them to acquire Dwight Howard to reinforce their depth at the position.

“He’s just been a great guy for us, being around the team,” Anthony Davis told Bill Oram of The Athletic. “Even though he’s not able to play, he’s always involved in practices and shootarounds and stuff like that as much as he can.”

Cousins had built a reputation of being a malcontent teammate during his time with the Sacramento Kings, but he’s slowly making former opponents into believers.

“He’s a nice genuine, good dude, but sometimes has his relapses and then you slap him back in the face like, ‘Yo man, get back,’ and he’ll be fine,” said veteran forward Jared Dudley. “He’s the perfect (example of) ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover. 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.”

Rajon Rondo, who has played with Cousins in Sacramento and New Orleans, pointed to the big man’s decision to sign with the Lakers as a key factor in his decision to return for another season.

“He’s a great person all around,” said Rondo. “Great teammate, it’s my third year playing with him so it’s not anything new to me.”

Cousins might not be able to put up double-doubles from his place on the bench, but he’s filling the stat sheet when it comes to encouraging his teammates and keeping them accountable after being ruled out for the season with his injury.