Boogie's Torn ACL

Horrible news.

Jim Rome
August 16, 2019 - 11:54 am
Boogie Cousins

USA Today

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Yesterday the news came down and it was as bad as expected – DeMarcus Cousins has a torn ACL. And it sucks. It just flat out sucks. There are no two ways about it. It truly sucks.

And I don’t mean that from a Lakers standpoint and what they do at the five. That’s not the point right now.

When news broke that Cousins was injured in a workout in Las Vegas, if your first thought was, what does that mean for the Lakers and how do they replace his minutes, then you either work for the Lakers, in which case it’s your job to worry about those things, or you need to take a look in the mirror.

Because this is a guy who tore his left Achilles in January 2018 when he was having a career year. He went through the brutal rehab process on then, came back to the Warriors, then suffered a quad tear jumping into a passing lane, tipping the ball, and then sprinting to get it before it went out of bounds.

He was chasing down a loose ball in the first quarter of a first round series game against the Clippers.

For a guy who allegedly wasn’t always about the team in the past, he wrecked his leg on a hustle play for a team that he’d been with for less than a year. If you were still stuck on his old image and calling him by his old nickname at that point, it sure seems like you were stuck in the past about who he was and what he was about.

Because he did it a game and a series they were expected to win. He could’ve just let that ball go out of bounds, but he didn’t.

And then worked his way back from that to contribute in the Finals. And now has an ACL tear.

That is freaking brutal on so many levels. There’s the physical pain. There’s the emotional pain. There’s the financial pain of suffering an Achilles injury before free agency and never getting to fully capitalize. And now there is the question of what might have been.

We’re talking about a double-double machine who was an elite passer. A guy who could do so much on the floor and was starting to peak, when he suffered the Achilles injury. And now it’s hard not to wonder about what might have been.

But he even managed to turn the Achilles into a positive. As he said when he joined the Lakers last month: “Everything I’ve gone through in the past three years, it just helped me realize how fast this thing can be taken away from you. I love it that much more. I’m grateful for every opportunity. I learned the hard way.”

He learned that the absolute hardest way possible. And now he has to learn it all over again. At this point, after three horrible injuries, I’m going to say that he’s learned enough. Cut the guy a break. He doesn’t need any more tests.

We’re talking about a guy who absolutely busted his ass to come back from the quad injury so that he could play in the Finals for the Warriors. And when he did, he came in for an epic 11-point, 10 board performance to carry the Warriors in Game 2.

And now he has a torn ACL. So he’s suffered the two most feared injuries in the NBA – a torn Achilles and a torn ACL. And he’s suffered them on the same leg within less than 2 years.

Just check Steve Kerr’s reaction to the news that Cousins is injured again.

Former teammates, present teammates, and other guys around the league were tweeting out their love and support. 

The TMZ video from the injury is terrible for so many reasons. It was initially reported that he bumped knees with another player, but from the video, if there’s contact, it doesn’t seem like much. The second part that makes it so bad is his yell when he goes down. And the reaction from the guys around him.

One player immediately puts his hands on his head before Cousins even finishes hitting the ground.

And worst of all, it’s the left leg. 

The same leg as the Achilles and the quad tear and now the ACL.

And it is a reminder of how serious an Achilles injury is. You can do all the rehab you want, the cruel reality is, guys are rarely the same after an Achilles injury. That leg is rarely ever the same. And it frequently leads to more injuries.

And if you think Kevin Durant isn’t going to take note of that and be extra careful during his comeback, you better think again. Because the Achilles is nothing to mess with. That rehab process is a nightmare and it’s not over even when you do get back on the court. Durant's game is different from Cousins' game and he might be able to get back to where he was, but it's no lock that we'll see the exact same Durant again.

Unfortunately, DeMarcus Cousins knows that all too well. Because we're staring at the possibility of never seeing the best DeMarcus Cousins again.