Photo Credit- NBC Sports
Like many of you, I too am in complete disbelief and utter shock as I write this emergency column, not only for you guys but personally to clear my head.
How did the NBA allow this to happen?
By “this”, I am referring to the pairing of Boogie Cousins and the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.
I mean, even as I write this I’m spacing out because of the implausibility that this actually happened.
The Golden State Warriors starting five next season will all be all-stars from the 2017-2018 season.
One freaking day after the feel-good story of Lebron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers breaks, this nightmare happens.
For one day, it felt like excitement was being restored back to the NBA.
For one day, the only concern that I had was wondering how myself and my longtime Laker fan buddies who hate King James would set aside our differences and come together to unite against a greater evil the Warriors.
24 hours of pure joy, and the Cousins news drops.
I don’t know exactly how this is going to turn out because Cousins is coming off of an Achilles tendon injury, which is historically one of the worst injuries that a player can have. Just ask Elton Brand who was once a lock for averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds through his first eight seasons, but his career fell off after his Achilles ruptured, causing his averages to drop to 10 points and six rebounds a game through the back half of his career. Mehmet Okur is another big man whose career dropped off after an Achilles injury. He only went on to play 30 more games before retiring because his production was devastatingly limited.
So by now, you should get that it’s tough for a big man to recover from an Achilles tendon injury. I don’t doubt that Cousins could return back to his All-Star form but one should proceed with caution.
What truly bothers me, however, is the fact that I thought Cousins was a true competitor. I thought that he was an anachronism by today’s NBA standards; not one to join the star-laden team in the Bay Area because of pride and desire to beat them. Cousins has a nasty attitude and has gone at it with Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. He has all the ingredients to be the ultimate anti-Warrior and yet today’s decision proves that he just another guy looking to ring chase.
True competitors don’t make that move.
So good luck to the Warriors and their new all-star center who has signed on for one year, and essentially got paid 5.3 million and a pack of black and milds.
If the reports about no team giving Cousins an offer are correct, then the rest of the league whiffed on this one.
Moving forward there must be a heightened sense of urgency this offseason for the contenders to shore up their rosters to compete with the Warriors new all-star cast. What is most paramount is where Kawhi Leonard lands, as the Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers are currently in the running to get him, and he is the only franchise-altering player available on the market should the San Antonio Spurs choose to trade him.
So while the Warriors only continue to get embarrassingly rich in the most unfair ways, just know the off-season is still in its early stages.
I’m not giving up yet.