The unfortunate injury history for Demarcus (Boogie) Cousins continues
By Ben Wobker, PT, MSPT, CSCS, SFMAc
A Rehab Warrior
The big man suffered the injury while working out in Las Vegas on Monday. According to Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic, Cousins was scheduled for additional tests on his knee last week to diagnose the injury. The tests revealed a torn ACL, which will sideline Cousins indefinitely.
Cousins has come off an Achilles tear in 2017, which sidelined him for the majority of the 2017-2018 season. He wound up signing with Golden State for the relatively low price of $5.3 million, sat out much of last season while rehabbing the Achilles, and then was sidelined again for much of the Warriors’ playoff run after tearing a quad muscle. You may have watched his valiant effort in this years finals against the Toronto Raptors as he played at 70%, but did offer meaningful minutes and was a valuable contributor.
“I’ve told y’all before I don’t take any of this for granted,” Cousins said in June, during the NBA Finals where he and the Warriors lost in six games to the Toronto Raptors. “I’ve seen how quick this game can be taken away from you. So every chance I get to go out there and play, I’m going to leave it on the floor.”
Boogie had hope to continue to recover and bring a real strong inside presence to the Lakers and former teammate Anthony Davis, who had previously played with Cousins in New Orleans prior to the achilles injury.
Laker teammate Kyle Kuzma offered this, "It's no joke when you get injured, this is our livelihood and it's something that we love to do. It's super unfortunate for a guy like DeMarcus because you can just tell how much he loves basketball through all of these injuries ... he's fought back and tried to get back as early as possible. That's kind of how the ball goes sometimes ... he was going to be a big part of what we're going to do."
What Will the 2019 Season Bring?
Demarcus will miss the entire 2019 season with the Lakers but will have a much more linear recovery with his ACL than the slower and sometimes more unpredictable achilles rehabilitation. Cousins had settled for a $3.5 million, one-year deal with the Lakers — again, a bargain deal for someone with a resume like the one Cousins possesses. He was expected to be part of the Lakers’ rotation, one that still has LeBron James plus added Anthony Davis and Danny Green this summer as part of a massive roster overhaul. Davis and Cousins were teammates in New Orleans and enjoyed the idea of the reunion with Cousins playing the 5, while Davis was a power forward. Since the injury Davis has already stated that he has no interest in playing center. With only a 1 year contract with the Lakers it puts Cousins back into the prove-it season in 2020. He may have missed a long-term deal due to these injuries but he does have a skill set that will serve him well in the years to come as he can shoot outside and in the post can play well with his back to the basket. Interesting to see if the Lake Show will take another chance on him or if he is a last minute cap friendly free-agent signing by another team in July 2020.
Cousins has averaged 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds over parts of nine NBA seasons with Sacramento, New Orleans and Golden State. Cousins is one of only 11 players in NBA history to average that many points and rebounds per game in a career, a list that includes two other active players -- Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.