Former Blazer Greg Oden Sounds Off on Lakers’ DeMarcus Cousins ACL Injury

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Earlier today the NBA received some devastating news that DaMarcus Cousins will be out for the season after tearing his ACL. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first report to report that the former four-time All-Star had torn his ACL. Later in the afternoon, TMZ released the video of Cousins going down.

This is the third major leg injury that Cousins has suffered in about a year and a half. Earlier today via a phone interview, I spoke with former Portland Trailblazer Greg Oden about Cousins’ injury.

“It’s a setback! I think DeMarcus was looking forward to coming out and proving to everyone that he is still one of the best players in the league at the center position. For something like that to happen to him, I know he is feeling down because he wants to play. Us as players we just want to play, want to have fun and enjoy the game. When are not able to do that it is tough because you are taken away from something we enjoy doing. I know he is down right now, but I hope the best for him. DeMarcus is one of those guys that is looked at a little bit differently, but if you get the chance to know him, you will find out that his very intelligent,” Oden told me.

The Portland Trailblazers would draft Greg Oden with the first pick in the 2008 draft out of Ohio State University. In his first season as a member of the Blazers, he averaged 8.9 points, seven rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 61 games for the trailblazers. Unfortunately for Oden, he only played three season in the NBA due to leg injuries that would later force him to retire from the NBA. However, he is currently playing in the Big3 three on three league and is thriving.

Cousins, teammate Kyle Kuzma after USA Basketball’s practice at the UCLA Health Training Center shared his thoughts after hearing the news.

“He was going to be a big part of what we’re going to do,” Kuzma said, via Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “It’s no joke when you get injured. This is our livelihood and is something that we love to do. It’s super-unfortunate for a guy like DeMarcus. You can tell how much he loves basketball through all these injuries — he’s fought back and tried to get back as early as possible. That’s kind of how the ball goes sometimes.”

His former coach Steve Kerr also weighed in on the devasting news.

“I saw. I read [the report] on the way to practice and, you know, it’s been a couple years of hell for DeMarcus with the injury. First the Achilles, then last year in the [playoffs] with the quad … I was really hoping that this would be a year for him upcoming with the Lakers where he could get healthy, get his rhythm, get his conditioning and really start his comeback. We’re all crushed for him and everybody in this gym—all these fellow players and coaches. This is a small community, so everybody’s been talking about and we’ve all reached out to him and we all just feel terrible for him, Kerr Told Ben Golliver of the Washington Post.

“Injuries are part of the game, but when you’re talking about a player who has now dealt with the two most feared injuries for NBA players—the Achilles & the ACL—each basically knocking you out for an entire season. To deal with over a two and half, three- year span; it’s unheard of. What a blow for him, for the Lakers and he’s going to have process it all and start all over again … Hopefully he can get back on the bike and start riding nine months from now, or whatever it is.”

Last season Cousins average 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 30 games a member of the Golden State Warriors.

What do you think?

Written by Landon Buford

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