Did DeMarcus Cousins Break the NBA?

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Rick Bowmer / AP

Okay, breathe.

Yes, what you saw Shams tweet

 Its true: DeMarcus Cousins has signed with the Golden State Warriors.  That same DeMarcus Cousins who averaged over 25 points per game, and almost 13 rebounds per game.  As a 4 time All-Star, Cousins joins 2-time MVP winner Steph Curry, MVP winner and 4-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, and one of the greatest 3-point shooters of all-time, Klay Thompson.  

The rich just got richer.

But we really need to step back and keep something in mind: the injury DeMarcus Cousins suffered in January is the worst injury an NBA player can suffer.  DeMarcus tore his Achilles tendon, and the rehab process alone could keep him out until early 2019. Even if he returns, we cannot expect Cousins to be the same player.  There is a LONG list of NBA players who have suffered this same injury and never been the same.  Some never even play again.

So, what will happen with Boogie?

Cousins spoke with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated in May about his recovery and believes he will be back quickly.  

“Usually you lose a lot of size in your leg and it takes a while to get that size basically where you have matching legs. For me, I didn’t lose any size in my leg, so that’s something that my doctors and the guys coaching me through this process have been raving about it” – DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins has set an eye towards training camp (September) for a possible return, meaning about 8 months from the injury.  It’s not impossible, others have returned from this injury in this amount of time, but with Golden State, Cousins will have zero pressure to be back on the court this quickly.  

Even if DeMarcus never sets foot on the court for Golden State, it was worth the risk.

This is a one-year run, simple as that.  Spears has noted  that once free agency began, Cousins did not even receive an offer from anyone in the league.  Once that happened, Cousins priorities changed. He realized he wanted one season to get back to his former self, and within that, he wanted to win a ring in the process. His choices were narrowed down  to Golden State and Boston (I know…), but once he reached out to the Warriors and players like Steph and KD, his choice became obvious.  Join the best, get healthy, win a championship, and get back out on the open market in 2019… wouldn’t you make the same decision if you were him?

It’s mind-boggling, I know, but once again, this injury is BRUTAL.  I do not think Cousins will be the player we’re used to seeing this season, but it’s just the fact that if he is… the starting 5 in Golden State will simply be the greatest assortment of talent in relation to their age (sorry 2004 Lakers) of all-time.  I think a shell of DeMarcus Cousins is exponentially better than JaVale MeGee, but we’ll have to wait and see. We will not know the true ramifications until the playoffs, but worst case-scenario is Cousins never plays, and Golden State does what it normally does (win) in spite of him.

No, Boogie did not break the NBA.  He did what was best for him and prioritized winning.  Unfortunately, there is just one team that can give him the best shot to win.  Let’s just hope this puts a fire under the front offices of the NBA to put together even better teams to knock off Golden State, because clearly the will not stop trying to win anytime soon (and who can blame them).

If Cousins gets healthy and looks like himself and STAYS in Golden State beyond 2019, we might have a problem.  Until then, we just need to breathe.