It’s October 28, 2015. Sacramento Kings fans are optimistic about their upcoming season after star center Demarcus Cousins just put on a show with 32 points and 13 rebounds in a close loss to the mighty Clippers. Boogie would go on to have a spectacular season highlighted by an All-Star selection, but the struggling Kings went 33-49.
A clearly disgruntled Cousins was tired of losing, and the organization knew it. They drafted highly-touted Greek Center Georgios Papagiannis 13th overall in preparation for Cousin’s departure. The 2016-17 season begins, and Cousins is playing out of his mind. While at All-Star weekend, after another All-Star selection, new Kings GM Vlade Divac thought it was the best time to trade him —arguably the best center in the NBA at his prime with a relatively small contract with 18 months left on it. They found a trade partner in the New Orleans Pelicans who wanted to create one of the best frontcourts in NBA history, pairing two Kentucky graduates in their prime together.
The Pelicans traded their future to get him, but it was worth it. Cousins got the Pelicans a playoff berth and negotiations for a new, long term deal began. For some reason, a deal wasn’t made that summer, and the season began with Cousins on his final year.
Let’s fast-forward to January 26, 2018. With a triple-double in the books in what would be a win over the Houston Rockets, Cousins ruptured his Achilles tendon in the final seconds of play, forever altering his career. With his season over, he looked forward to talks with the Pelicans about a new deal. The Pels offered what he thought was a measly $40 million over two years which he declined and ultimately became an unrestricted free agent.
Free to negotiate with any team, Cousins signed a one year, $6 million deal with the two-time reigning champs, The Golden State Warriors. They immediately became slated to run through every team en-route to a third straight NBA championship. Boogie came back in January 2019 almost a year since his injury and scored 14 points in a win over the Clippers. He played alright, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds in 30 games, but ultimately tore his left quadriceps in Game 2 of the first playoff round.
He came back in Game 1 of the Finals versus the Raptors — which the Warriors eventually lost in five games. Boogie was once again a free agent. On July 6, 2019, he signed a one year prove-it deal with the Lakers. In preseason workouts, on Aug. 15, he suffered a torn ACL and was ruled out for the rest of the year. With three season-ending injuries in his last three years, his mind was for good reason not in a great place.
This conclusion came to light as in late August, TMZ leaked a video of Cousins allegedly threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. After the Lakers announced they were opening an investigation on the incident, The LAPD issued an arrest warrant for Cousins on Aug. 29, and here we are today.
Cousins is obviously not in the place to play professional basketball. He was known for his anger issues during his early years with the Kings, and now the ball has dropped. Demarcus Cousins should take a page out of Josh Gordan’s book, and step away from football to go to rehab and work on himself. Hopefully, Boogie can get the help he needs and these troubling events will be remembered as only a challenge he got through on the way to greatness. Wherever he is in the coming months, one thing is for certain: he should not be playing for now.