As news of DeMarcus Cousins tearing his left ACL began to circulate Thursday afternoon, the ailing star's former coach, Golden State Warriors bench boss and U.S. national team assistant Steve Kerr, summarized the mood from USA Basketball's training camp in Los Angeles.
"We're all crushed for him. Everybody in this gym, all these fellow players and coaches," Kerr said of the Los Angeles Lakers center, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "This is a small community, so everyone's been talking about it. We've all reached out to him. We all just feel terrible for him."
Cousins joined Golden State on a one-year, $5.3-million contract for the 2018-19 season, in part to re-establish his market value after sustaining a ruptured Achilles tendon in his left leg as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans in January 2018. A diminished Cousins made his Warriors debut in January of this year and appeared in 30 regular-season games, averaging 25.7 minutes per night.
In mid-April, however, injuries struck again. Cousins sustained a torn quadriceps in his left thigh in only his second-career playoff game, keeping him out of action until the Warriors' ill-fated NBA Finals series against the Toronto Raptors.
Finding an even cooler market for his services this summer, Cousins signed a one-year, $3.5-million deal to join LeBron James and his former Pelicans teammate, Anthony Davis, on the cross-state Lakers.
"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 and the ACL - each basically knocking you out for an entire season, to deal with that over a two-and-half, three-year span, it's unheard of," Kerr lamented.
"What a blow for him, for the Lakers," he added. "He's going to have to process it all and start all over again. Not a whole lot to say other than offer everybody's sympathy."