DeMarcus Cousins’ career took another turn for the worse when he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee while conducting a workout in Las Vegas. This means that the newly-signed Los Angeles Lakers will miss most, if not all, of the 2019-2020 season. This is his major third injury in under two years and puts in doubt the career of one of the best big men in recent memory.
You will recall the four-time All-Star spent his first plus six seasons in Sacramento but failed to make the playoffs. During his last season there (2016-2017), he established himself as one of the top 5 players in the league averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists while combining for nearly 3 steals and blocks per game. He was also able to evolve adding a three-point shot in his repertoire and shooting it at a 36% clip. During his time with the Kings, he was hounded by several controversies including incidents with his coach and other players. This gave him a reputation as a trouble-maker.
Boogie was traded to the Pelicans in February 2017 and formed a formidable frontcourt tandem with Anthony Davis. In his first full season as a Pelican, he made his fourth All-Star team but tore his Achilles in January 2018. After the injury, the Pelicans offered him a 2-year, $40 million extension but instead took the mid-level exception of $5.3 million to sign with the two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors.
Here, Boogie bet on himself that he would be to return to form while winning a championship, setting him up for a big pay day. He was already getting back in the groove but tore his left quadriceps in Game 2 of the first round of the 2019 playoffs. He returned in time for Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, coming off the bench in his first Finals game.
With his health and durability in question, Cousins did not receive any offers in free agency and joined his former teammate Davis and LeBron James in Los Angeles to try and revive his career on a one-year contract. His injury comes at an unfortunate time since he was expected to play big minutes in L.A. while sharing the limelight with two fellow superstars. He also wanted to show that he could actually stay healthy for a full season.
At 29 years old, Cousins is at his physical peak and it is unfortunate that he has to sit down a third straight season due to injuries. Boogie was supposed to be the starting center in L.A. The Lakers roster is deep but the loss of Cousins will be felt since he was supposed to bang bodies with other big men, keeping Davis fresh and playing at his preferred spot — power forward.
Whether he returns to form or not is now a big question mark but everybody is rooting for him. Despite his trouble-maker tag, Cousins is well-liked in the league. We can only hope that Boogie gets healthy since his skills were unparalleled.