NBA rumors: DeMarcus Cousins returning this season?

2 years ago via ESPN
Golden State Warriors injured center DeMarcus Cousins said he expects to play again this season after suffering a partially torn quadriceps muscle and envisions a “very nice ending” to the 2018-19 campaign.

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"For me, my goal is I ain't planning on sitting," Cousins told The Undefeated after the Warriors' shootaround in preparation for Monday's Game 4 against the Houston Rockets in a second-round playoff series. "I don't know the reality of it. But for me, that is not what I'm planning on doing...It's definitely some type of bad movie. But I think it will have a very nice ending. Just wait for it."
When asked about potentially returning in the Rockets series or at a future time, Cousins answered, "We will see." "I'm taking it day by day," Cousins said. "I'm in better spirits, for sure. I kind of shut the world out. There are a lot of opinions out there. I shut the world out, went to my little zone and I'm taking it a day at a time. There were too many opinions. Everybody thought they knew what was going on. Everybody is a doctor. Just sit back and watch. I will do the rest."
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is leaving open the possibility of centers DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Jones returning at some point during the playoffs. “It’s a possibility he could be back,” Kerr said of Jones. “Same with DeMarcus. He’s coming along pretty well. We’ll just wait and see.”
Connor Letourneau: Good sign of progress: DeMarcus Cousins is getting up shots after practice.

https://twitter.com/Con_Chron/status/1123286990286229505
Center DeMarcus Cousins is unlikely to return this postseason for the Golden State Warriors yet won't require surgery on his torn left quadriceps muscle. Coach Steve Kerr has named Andrew Bogut as his starter in place of Cousins for Game 3 Thursday night of the team's first-round playoff series against the Clippers in Los Angeles. Playing in just his second career postseason game after a nine-year wait, the 28-year-old Cousins went down in the first quarter of a 135-131 Game 2 loss Monday night. He fell in front of the Golden State bench after swiping a ball from Patrick Beverley in the back court. Cousins immediately grabbed at his left quad then hobbled to the locker room at the 8:09 mark.
Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, who exited last night’s Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers with 8:09 remaining in the first quarter, underwent an MRI exam earlier this morning in the Bay Area. The MRI confirmed that Cousins has suffered a torn left quadriceps muscle. The injury will sideline Cousins indefinitely and he will begin rehabilitation immediately
Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins has a torn left quad, a source told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears on Tuesday. Doctors are still determining the severity of Cousins' quad tear, which will determine the length of the recovery process, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. It is unclear whether he will need surgery or how long he could be out. An MRI confirmed the team's fear of a tear on Tuesday morning.
Shams Charania: Warriors All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has been diagnosed with a torn left quad, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Devastating for Cousins, who had MRI early this morning.
Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins is expected to miss the remainder of the postseason with a significant left quadriceps injury, but there’s faint optimism that he could possibly return for the NBA Finals, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Cousins, 28, will undergo an MRI on Tuesday morning, which should reveal if the Finals are a realistic target for the four-time All-Star, sources said.
He refused assistance to the locker room by teammates and walked off on his own power to be examined with cameras catching what appeared to be a noticeable injury to his quad. The Warriors’ big man is only a few months removed from returning from a left Achilles tear that sidelined him for a year, and for the first time in his nine NBA seasons, he was experiencing his first taste of a long playoff run. “It's tough, for sure,” Stephen Curry said. “You feel for him, considering what he's been through this last year. This is a big stage, the playoffs. He's been looking forward to this. I don't know the extent of the injury at this point. Hope he gets back sooner than later. Just man to man, in terms of him, what he's been through, it's tough for sure. There's no sugarcoating it at all. You hate seeing that opportunity again on this big stage taken away from him like that.”
Connor Letourneau: If DeMarcus Cousins is done for the postseason, his chances of re-signing with the Warriors would go up significantly. Have to think the free-agency market for an injured Cousins would be tepid, at best.
Adrian Wojnarowski: There's significant concern that DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn left quad, but there won't be complete certainty until his MRI on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN. The hope is that it's just a strain.
"There's a pretty significant quad injury ... he's going to be out for a while," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the Clippers evened the first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins will undergo an MRI on his quad tomorrow, league source tells ESPN.
Logan Murdock: DeMarcus Cousins is currently getting an MRI, which Kerr called “precautionary.”
Tom Orsborn: DeMar: “I’m just a little banged up. I always pride myself on not missing anything, a practice, a game. But when you play a lot of minutes, a lot of things accumulate you've got to deal with, so it was good to get a rest... A couple of days off for me will be big." #Spurs
On May 19, 2018, Cousins posted a picture to Twitter and Instagram that showed Wilkins moments after he ruptured his Achilles. It gave Cousins hope and he praised the legend’s comeback. Shortly after, the two NBA stars connected. “I reached out to him,” Wilkins told HoopsHype. “I told him, ‘Don’t listen to all of the critics. Nobody knows your heart the way that you do. Use that to your advantage. Don’t let all of the critics dictate who you are.’”
Some fans questioned why Wilkins has been willing to help a rival player, considering he is Atlanta’s Vice President of Basketball and Cousins obviously plays for the Warriors. However, for Wilkins, this is much bigger than competing with Golden State. “People look at it and ask why I’m lighting a fire in a guy who isn’t on my team, but, to me, that doesn’t matter,” Wilkins explained. “It’s not about that! It’s about helping someone continue to fulfill their dreams. That’s what was the most important thing to me because, look, I’ve been through it! I’ve been through this. I know what he’s dealing with.”
After getting to know Cousins throughout this process, Wilkins has become a big believer in the former Kentucky product. “I would be very surprised if he didn’t come back and get back to the level he once was at,” Wilkins said. “He’s a guy who absolutely loves to play. He plays with emotion. He plays with a fire. And the good thing for him is he was a lot younger at 27 years old [than I was when I had the injury]. He’s a guy who’s really committed. We’ve had some great conversations. I love his game. I really do love his game,” Wilkins continued. “He plays with a lot of emotion and passion, and I have no problem with that. He’s a guy who’s always going to play hard and he’s going to go after guys. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s what makes you great. He’s one of those throwback guys [who remind me] of the players you’d see back when I played. He’s that kind of guy.”
Cousins is confident he will be able to return to his All-Star form over time. "I'm back, and I'm not looking back," Cousins said. "I'm moving forward. I'm leaving it on the floor every night. And I plan on coming back for that top spot."
Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, who is making his season debut on Friday on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers, attempted to get cleared to return from injury a few weeks ago, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Cousins, who tore his left Achilles tendon almost a full year ago, was intent on speeding up his timeline to return, but the organization wanted to implement a 10-minute playing restriction, league sources said.
How do you think you're gonna come back a different player than you were when we last saw you? Cousins: Well, obviously, I won't be the same player. I've gotten better. (laughs) So you know, a lot of things have changed in my game. You start to tune up other areas of your game: jump shooting, skill work. I think everything has just increased and gotten better.
Have those parts of your personality really come forward in this last few months? Cousins: Oh, they've gotten worse. (laughs) A lot worse. Nichols: So you're coming back more stubborn than you left us? Cousins: Absolutely. Absolutely. Nichols: Should the officials be concerned? Cousins: Nah. They're on my good side -- right now.

http://twitter.com/ringernba/status/1085666540991770625
Anthony Slater: Warriors have talked behind the scenes about the importance of dropping DeMarcus Cousins into smooth waters. Despite turbulence, appears they will. Fifth straight W tonight, a blowout in Denver. Everyone healthy, vibe around team best it's been in a couple months.
Nick DePaula: EXCLUSIVE: DeMarcus Cousins will debut with the Warriors on Friday in this Puma Clyde Court PE. Shoes feature a racing flag graphic and @BoogieCousins’ mantra “The Marathon Continues...” as he returns to action.

https://twitter.com/NickDePaula/status/1085288965039628288
Dominique Wilkins could hear the melancholy in DeMarcus Cousins’ voice last June. Five months removed from a season-ending Achilles injury, Cousins’ career was suddenly in doubt: Would anyone pick him up in free agency? Could he play at an All-Star level again? During that phone conversation, Wilkins told Cousins not to worry about his critics because “no one knows your heart like you do.” The Hall of Famer’s message resonated. Twenty-six years earlier, Wilkins was 32 when he tore his right Achilles tendon, only to come back nine months later and make two more All-NBA teams.
“People always doubt people first before they give people credit for how quickly they can come back from those types of injuries, but it depends on the person,” Wilkins said. “I think DeMarcus is a guy who’s put the work in and is going to be fine.” The breakthrough for Cousins came in the past couple of weeks, when he started to show flashes of dominance in workouts. Finally, after almost 12 months of rehab, Cousins looked self-assured as he leapt for rebounds and threw down dunks. Instead of worrying about his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon, the four-time All-Star was able to play on instinct.
Through a handful of phone calls, DeMarcus Cousins received a blueprint on how to overcome the biggest challenge of his nine-year NBA career. Well before he could even begin his rehab, Cousins contacted one of the NBA’s best dunkers (former Atlanta Hawks forward Dominique Wilkins), one of the league’s best scorers (former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant), a former teammate (San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay) and a dependable NBA role player (Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Mathews). Shortly after the Warriors signed Cousins to a one-year $5.3 million deal last July with their mid-level taxpayer exception, Cousins spoke with the Warriors’ other free agent acquisition (Jonas Jerebko).
“I wasn’t really looking for a specific answer to get through it,” Cousins said. “I wanted to see what each guy’s mindset was and compare it to my own.” Each players’ journey has been different. They mostly stressed similar messages, though. While Wilkins advised Cousins “not to listen to the critics,” Gay instructed Cousins, “don’t feel sorry for yourself.” A few months following Cousins’ surgery on Jan. 31, 2018, Mathews told him “to take his time.” Shortly after the two became teammates last summer, Jerebko argued the same thing.
That date is soon approaching. Then, Cousins hopes to write his comeback story. He already has learned plenty on how others wrote theirs. “It’s really tested me as a person, a man and an athlete,” Cousins said. “I had a lot of dark days and a lot of good days. I questioned myself a lot. But I found a way to overcome all of those bad feelings. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and extremely excited to be out on there on the floor.”
Cousins, who signed a one-year deal with the Warriors last summer, will make his long-awaited return to the floor after rehabbing a torn left Achilles tendon he suffered Jan. 26, 2018. "He'll start," Kerr said after Thursday's practice. "I'll start him. After that, everything's on the table. We have to figure out what the rotations will look like, how many minutes he can play. We'll have to play around with the minutes, the combinations, the sets. "We haven't had a player like him here before. So it will be new; it won't be as simple [as] plug him in and he'll fit right in. We're going to play through him some so there will be a period where we all have to adapt. Fortunately we're halfway through the year, we have a lot of games to figure this out."
Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins is targeting the Jan. 18 game at the LA Clippers for his season debut, a source told The Undefeated's Marc Spears. The four-time All-Star has not played since rupturing his left Achilles tendon as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 26, 2018, against the Houston Rockets.
Marc J. Spears: Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he plans to incorporate DeMarcus Cousins over next 20 games although it sounds sooner rather than later. “It’s closer now. The conditioning has got over a barrier,” Kerr said. Kerr wouldn’t offer a date.
Connor Letourneau: Kerr said he’s seen tremendous improvement in Cousins’ conditioning. Still not ready to put a timetable on his return, however.

http://twitter.com/MarkG_Medina/status/1080563832857096192
Michael Gallagher: DeMarcus Cousins just went through a little pre-game shooting workout. Threw down some alley-oops and made a bunch of jumpers.
Nick Friedell: Myers still doesn’t want to put a return date on when DeMarcus Cousins will be back but he likes the progress Cousins continues to make in rehab. “I think we’re nearing the finish line,” Myers said. Warriors still have extra roster spot to add center via trade or buyout market.
There may not be an NBA player more excited to ring in the new year than DeMarcus Cousins. “It’s been the longest year of my life,” Cousins, 28, told The Undefeated. “I’m looking forward to the new year and the new blessings. New tests. New excitement. Fresh year. Fresh start. … “I’ll put it as simple as possible, 2018 was the most difficult and challenging year of my life. I’m extremely excited for 2019.”
Cousins is expected to take a leave of absence from the Warriors to attend his grandmother’s funeral on Jan. 4 in his hometown of Mobile. “She was the foundation of the family,” a teary-eyed Cousins said. “So, I’m going into 2019 with that. She was everything for us. … She was the root of our family. To lose a vital piece like that to our family is devastating to everyone. “She lived an incredible and very long life. She went out happy. She went out painless. I couldn’t have asked for a better life for my grandma.”
“It’s not about my Achilles, not about one specific part of my body; it’s my entire body. It’s about being out of shape, taking a year off basketball, then jumping into an NBA game. That leaves you pretty open to get another injury, like a hammy strain.” The Warriors are also going to ask him to defend like he never has before. They know the teams that matter will target him, will drag him out on the perimeter, will leverage the Warriors’ switching scheme to test his recovered leg, his lateral movement (never one of his strengths) and willingness to defend at a playoff level, a foreign world to Cousins.
The Warriors could wait, could win while they stall, could toss the idea of him into the distance and yawn toward a 22-11 record while he recovered on the side, out of sight. But then is quickly becoming now. The holidays are here, January is approaching, Cousins still isn’t ready and the Warriors are starting to twiddle their thumbs a bit. “It’s almost 2019,” one team source said. “The clock’s starting to tick.”
There’s a belief within the Warriors that the first few weeks of Cousins’ return will be crucial, that the early days will become the arrow that points this experiment down either a fruitful or frustrating path. There’s been a sigh of relief that, at least for now, Cousins is projected to join a healthy rotation and relaxed atmosphere, not the injured, frayed November mess.

https://twitter.com/KerithBurke/status/1076216888819036160
After facing three more questions about DeMarcus Cousins’ rehab progress, Kerr, a little bit tired of the subject, delivered an answer that should end any bubbling optimism that Cousins could make his return before the calendar year ends. “We’re not really that close,” Kerr said. “I don’t want this to be about: ‘Hey, we’re right there.’ We’re not right there. It’s still going to be some time. We’re going to be patient and continue to give DeMarcus the space he needs to prepare. When the time is right, we’ll have some things planned for him.”
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on Cousins: “We’re not really that close (to his return). ... It’s still going to be some time.”
Nick Friedell: Kerr says the plan is for DeMarcus Cousins to practice with Santa Cruz Monday. Cousins practiced with Warriors on Sunday. Still no target date set for his return.
Mark Medina: DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant doing some 1 on 1 work pic.twitter.com/WWkjlOy5pB

http://twitter.com/MarkG_Medina/status/1074397417238290432
After practicing twice this week with Golden State’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, center DeMarcus Cousins isn’t necessarily close to making his Warriors debut. "That’s why we still don’t have a timetable," Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said. "He needs to feel confident with the Achilles, his conditioning, his rhythm, his timing and everything else. We’re not going to rush him back. We’re going to help him through that process. When it happens, it happens."
There is still no timetable for Cousins' return from a torn Achilles tendon, but the four-time All-Star center is definitely getting close. "We want to make sure he's really comfortable with his conditioning and movement before we put him out there," Kerr said. "Everything has come along nicely. This is not about a doctor saying he can't play. It's more about when he's ready to go out there and perform well."
“If my life depended on it, I can go out and play a game,” said Cousins, who admitted he doesn’t have a target return date in mind. “But I want to be 100 percent or as close to 100 percent as I can be. I want my body in tip-top shape — it’s not even about the Achilles. It’s about my other body parts and making sure everything is fine-tuned and in the best shape possible to go out and play a full game.”
“It was my idea,” Cousins said. “I wanted to come down because before I wanted to step foot on the floor, I wanted to get in some type of basketball rhythm. That’s something that me and the trainers kind of butted heads about. They had their idea of getting ready for a game and I have mine. So the last thing I wanted to do was go from doing drill work to two-on-two or three-on-three [scrimmages] straight into an NBA game.”
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November 25, 2020 | 10:10 pm EST Update
E’Twaun Moore: I want to thank the city of New Orleans and everyone who showed love throughout the past 4 years! We made some great memories and can’t ask for more! You will be missed!! 🙏💯#NOLA #504 #grateful

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