Reflecting back on Demarcus Cousins’ strange 2018 offseason.

Published 4:26 pm Thursday, July 11, 2019



Demarcus Cousins shooting a free throw against the Washington Wizards. 



By Johnathan Williams 


On January 25th, 2018, The New Orleans Pelicans’ star player, Demarcus Cousins, was ready for a typical Friday night home game against the Houston Rockets. He would go on to have a monster game and record a triple double with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. With 12 seconds to go in the game, Cousins would hustle to the rim to try to get an offensive rebound after a missed shot and land awkwardly on his knee. He would need help to get off the court as he yelled in pain. It was later discovered in an MRI that Cousins had torn his Achilles in his left knee.

This event left the NBA world in shock. Cousins was having a career year, averaging an astonishing 25 points and 13 rebounds a game before the injury. Lots of people offered support to Cousins, including fellow Pelicans Star Forward, Anthony Davis, who wore his jersey at the 2018 All-Star game dedicating the game in his honor. After having a spectacular season despite the injury, Cousins claimed that the New Orleans Pelicans General Manager, Dell Demps, told him that he did not plan to resign him once the year was over. In fact, during the offseason of 2018, 29 teams were not interested in Demarcus Cousins this year because they were worried about Cousins ability to play after the devastating injury, but there was one team that was indeed interested in him. Cousins would go on to sign a one year, $5.3 million-dollar contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

NBA Fans all across the world were shocked by this move. The Warriors now had 5 all-stars on one team. It looked unbeatable. Some people were immediately saying that this team could be one of the greatest of all-time. However, other people were not happy about Cousins’ decision. Many people were calling him a “snake” a “traitor”, but did he really sign with the Warriors because it was his only option?


According to Bleacher Report Demarcus Cousins reportedly turned down a 2-year $40 million-dollar contract with the Pelicans even though he claimed they told him that they were not resigning him. It honestly shocked me to find out since I felt like Cousins had a good connection with the Pelicans. Then it came to me, what if Cousins was scared about his future in the NBA? 


According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, basketball players usually do not recover 100% from an Achilles tear. In fact, the only recent player to come back 100% after the injury was nine-time all-star Dominique Wilkins who managed to average 28 points and seven rebounds in the next two years.  He would decline after those two years, but he was also 35 years old. I think Cousins knew that he probably would not make a full recovery. He had to do what was best for his career. He had to make a decision. 


The 28-year-old had never truly been on a winning team, much less, make the NBA playoffs. I think Cousins was nervous, as one would expect, about his career. It was time to go to a contending team, where his chances of being in line to hold up a Larry O’Brien at the end of the season seemed possible. This is why I think he decided to go to the Warriors on a cheaper & shorter contract. Sadly, if this is true, it didn’t pay out for him as the Warriors lost to the Raptors in the NBA Finals 4-2. 


In conclusion, my theory, Demarcus Cousins reflected on his current state and weighed his options for the future. In his defining moment, he chose to sign with the Golden State Warriors. I believe he knew he would not have a long career due to his injury; thus, his hope was to possibly secure a championship under his belt with the Warriors. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Luckily, He will get another opportunity to contend for the NBA Finals as he will rejoin Anthony Davis and play with Lebron James for the Los Angeles Lakers.