Before game two of the Golden State Warriors’ first-round series against the LA Clippers in April, DeMarcus Cousins was finally starting to feel like himself again after having torn his Achilles tendon the year before. He was telling people close to him how “amazing” he felt, how he thought he was starting to be himself again.
Later that night, Cousins crumpled to the floor with what an MRI would later confirm was a torn quad tendon. Cousins would ultimately return for the NBA Finals and try to help the Warriors before the team fell to the Toronto Raptors, but he clearly wasn’t feeling 100 percent at that point.
That was probably a tough situation to go through, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to Cousins talk about it on a conference call with reporters after he officially signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. DeMarcus Cousins, a player (often unfairly) criticized for his attitude, actually seems to have had the most difficult years of his career turn him into sort of an optimist.
“I was really feeling good at the time,” Cousins said of the night he hurt his quad. “That’s kind of a good thing because I know it’s possible to get back to that place, so that’s the positive I took out of that.”
Another positive to take forward? Cousins says his quad “is 100 percent healed” now, and that he’s working every day to strengthen his lower body so those injuries don’t happen again.
“I’m getting stronger, getting in better shape. My plan is to come into camp in tip-top shape. My goal is to play 82 games this season,” Cousins said. “I want a full season of health and going to the playoffs, and whatever happens, happens.”
And Cousins thinks some good things can happen for the Lakers, who had his former Pelicans teammates Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo recruiting him along with LeBron James. Cousins had a conversation with all three players that answered every question he had about an organization that he didn’t know very many other people in, and once they eliminated any potential reasons for concern, they all had the same, simple message for Cousins.
“Everybody’s message was the same: We’re all here this season to compete for a championship, and that’s that. I think we can all agree on that, and with that being said, it was an easy decision,” Cousins said.
How well the Lakers compete for a championship will be in part fueled by h