All-Star weekend, New Orleans, 2017, and Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins is full-on in his prime and is seen by most as the best center in the NBA. At this point, his entire career had been spent with the Sacramento Kings, a dysfunctional team with one of the worst front offices at the time. But Cousins decided to not care. He loyally represented Sac Town, and played his heart out for the Kings every time he stepped on the court. Despite all of this, he was disrespected by the Kings. Following the All-Star game, Cousins was hit with news that would change his life forever. He would extend his stay in New Orleans a lot longer than he thought. He was traded to the Pelicans to team up with Anthony Davis.
The first half-year spent in New Orleans didn’t go up too well, since AD and Boogie didn’t have good chemistry yet, and they basically took turns dominating. This resulted in them not making the playoffs, but it seemed like another year would do it for the Pels. And they were right. Both Boogie and AD would spend much of the season playing at an MVP level, even though they were barely in the playoff hunt, they seemed on their way to a 5-8 seed in the West. Due to the success, Cousins was offered a two-year, $40 million extension with the Pelicans. Feeling as if he was low-balled, Cousins declined knowing that he could get more in an open market. But Cousins once again had his life changed. Shortly before the All-Star break, he suffered one of the worst injuries an NBA big man can have–a torn Achilles.
This destroyed Boogie’s value, taking him from being a top 2 center in the NBA to not getting a second look by any team. Davis had gone on a tear since Cousins’ injury, becoming a top 3 MVP candidate that year, and getting the 6th seed and seeping the Trail Blazers in the playoffs. This meant that Cousins was no longer seen as necessary by the Pelicans, or any other team. No one wanted the injured superstar, due to how severe an Achilles injury was. So in the 2018 offseason, he shook the world. He called up the Warriors and offered his services for almost nothing.
After he was signed, the NBA world went into a panic, but Boogie’s bad luck didn’t stop there. He would tear his quad in the FIRST playoff game of his career. This sat him out until the Finals, where he came back prematurely. The injured Warriors infamously had their dynasty destroyed in one playoff run, and Cousins never got the ring he wanted to badly.
And now we mourn for Cousins, who just tore his ACL in the same left leg where his Achilles and quad were hurt. His career is becoming one of the saddest stories ever, and it’s tough to watch. The Lakers, who signed Boogie, will now have to wait at least until April for his services. His story just keeps getting worse, and all we can do as fans is hope that he comes back healthy. But the chances of that are minuscule.
No athlete should suffer through this. We’ve seen Derrick Rose and most recently Isaiah Thomas suffer this, let’s just hope that Cousins can get through it. Pray for Boogie.
By Hugo Vazquez, Brooks College Prep, Senior