The latest step in DeMarcus Cousins‘ NBA comeback attempt was a G League assignment to the Warriors‘ affiliate in Santa Cruz. Cousins practiced with the team on Monday and came out of it without issues.
Cousins, 28, suffered a torn Achilles nearly a year ago when he was still a member of the Pelicans. Golden State inked the All-Star center with the hope he would be ready to play several months into the regular season. While today’s practice went well, Cousins noted that playing in an NBA game soon would not be easy.
“I mean if it was… I feel like if my life depended on it at the moment, yeah, I could go out and play a game,” Cousins told reporters, including ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I want to be 100% or as close to 100% as I can be when I do return. I want my body in tip-top shape. It is not even about the Achilles, it’s just about my other body parts and making sure everything is fine-tuned and in the best shape possible to go out and play a full game.”
The hope is that Cousins will be ready to play within the next three or four weeks, putting him on a track for a mid-January return. A healthy Cousins would give an already formidable lineup another elite, All-Star caliber talent. In 48 games before the injury, Cousins averaged 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds in New Orleans.
The six-time All-Star noted it was his idea to join Santa Cruz as part of his rehab process.
“It was my idea, I want to come down,” he said. “Before I ever stepped on the floor, I wanted to get in some type of basketball rhythm. That’s something me and the trainers butted heads about, they have their idea of getting ready for a game and I have mine.”
It’s possible that Cousins plays in a G League game before his NBA return, but the center noted he had discussions with Warriors’ general manager Bob Myers and no decision has been made. Ultimately, his goal is to be as prepared as possible.
“It’s been extremely humbling,” Cousins said. “It’s really tested me as a person, as a man, as an athlete. I’ve had a lot of dark days, a lot of good days. I’ve questioned myself a lot. But I found a way to overcome all those bad feelings. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am extremely excited to get back on the floor.