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DeMarcus Cousins, Lakers

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The tragic injury history of DeMarcus Cousins

The tragic injury history of DeMarcus Cousins

Almost nothing has gone right for DeMarcus Cousins over the past couple of years.

The former All-Star had high hopes for the upcoming season when he signed a one-year deal to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Cousins knew he had something to prove. He knew he could return to his old dominant form and once again inspire fear in NBA opponents.

Unfortunately, Cousins suffered yet another serious setback.

A couple of days ago, it was reported by multiple outlets that Boogie suffered a torn ACL in his left knee while working out. This is his third major injury in a span of 18 months, and at this point, it is unclear if Boogie can recover.

No one deserves to go through one devastating injury, let alone three, but that’s the nature of sports. No matter how great a player you are, your career could be derailed by just one bad break.

Before all of this, Cousins was reaching his prime. He was sensational with the New Orleans Pelicans a couple of years ago, putting up 24.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. What’s more impressive is that he was able to maintain those numbers while playing alongside All-NBA forward Anthony Davis.

Then, things started to fall apart.

On January 26, 2018, Cousins tore his left Achilles tendon in the Pelicans’ 115-113 home win against the Houston Rockets. He missed the rest of that season, including New Orleans’ impressive playoff run, which ended at the hands of the Golden State Warriors in the second round.

The following season, the Pelicans reportedly offered Cousins a two-year, $40 million contract, which he rejected. He initially wanted to test the free agent market in search of a bigger deal. However, no team was confident enough to offer him an amount that was even close to the Pels’ figure, which is understandable. History suggests that players who suffer Achilles injuries never return to 100 percent, and with New Orleans’ offer no longer available, people wondered if Boogie would play the following season.

Those doubts were quickly erased when Cousins agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the Warriors on July 2, 2018. Back then, it was seen as another major move by the two-time defending champions, who were gunning for their third straight title. The deal made a lot of sense for Boogie: He didn’t have to rush his return because of how good the team already was.

After almost an entire year of recovery, Cousins returned to the court on January 18, 2019, when he scored 14 points in the Dubs’ 112-84 win against the Los Angeles Clippers. He played 30 regular season games for Golden State, averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds.

Although there were obvious signs of rust, it seemed Cousins was starting to regain his form. Heading into the playoffs, the Warriors had all the momentum they needed. They had the best record in the West, and they were at full strength.

Then, DeMarcus Cousins got hurt once again.

Boogie suffered a quad injury in Game 2 of the first round against the Clippers. He went after a steal in the first quarter before he went down holding onto his right quad. He missed the rest of the Warriors’ Western Conference playoff series before returning to the Finals against the Toronto Raptors, when he was visibly not his usual self.

The Warriors lost to the Raptors in the championship series, and Cousins went into another offseason filled with uncertainty.

Then, it happened. DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Lakers last month, and he started working out to lose weight to ease the pressure on his lower body. He hoped to move faster on the court without having to worry about reaggravating his previous injuries.

He was determined to get better. He was willing to accept any role from the Lakers. He just wanted to play basketball.

Yet even with good intentions, he can’t seem to get a break. He tore his left ACL. Now, there are reports he might not play at all next season.

What a tragic turn of events for someone who had the potential to be one of the greatest NBA players of all-time.

We hope DeMarcus Cousins gets better and one more shot at the NBA. If he does, we hope he stays healthy.