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DeMarcus Cousins uses Dominique Wilkins as reminder to those doubting his post-surgery form

DeMarcus Cousins, Dominique Wilkins

DeMarcus Cousins was putting up numbers for the New Orleans Pelicans before he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

Although Cousins only played 48 games in the entire season, the Pelicans still managed to make the playoffs behind stellar play from Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. But if the team would have had Cousins, it’s possible that it would have made it further in the postseason.

But instead, Cousins is rehabbing one of the most devastating injuries in sports. Kobe Bryant never really recovered from it when he had it, and Wesley Matthews has not been the same player defensively that he once was before he ruptured his Achilles.

But all the horror stories are bupkis to Cousins. He believes he will come back stronger than ever, and used the example of Dominque Wilkins back in 1992.

Dominque Wilkins, a former Atlanta Hawks player and Slam Dunk Contest champion, averaged 30 points per game the year after he came back from a ruptured Achilles, and played six seasons at a high level after the injury.

Wilkins is definitely the exception to the rule. So many players who have had the injury had it practically end their careers — Isiah Thomas, Christian Laettner and Mehmut Okur are a few of them.

Wilkins once said in an interview that he focused on working hard and going out on his terms. That could be why he ended up no worse for the wear.

But there’s almost no precedent for the recovery of a player the size, weight and body type of Cousins. There is no question DeMarcus Cousins will work his butt off to return to form.

The real question is: Will his body respond?