'The Resurgence': All-Star DeMarcus Cousins' incredible "chess move" that led to his remarkable NBA comeback
DeMarcus Cousins was lost and confused on the road to recovery from a torn Achilles tendon he sustained in late January last year while he was with the New Orleans Pelicans. His team let him go, and none of the 30 franchises offered the four-time NBA All-Star a ticket back into the court.
While the free agent was considered to be as coveted as anyone available on the market, "Boogie" was recovering from a career-threatening injury and was notorious for being emotional and prone to technical fouls.
At the same time, the 6 ft 11 in player averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in the previous season while shooting 3-pointers better than anyone else.
Showtime's 'The Resurgence: DeMarcus Cousins' goes deep inside the mind of the champion as he suffered an injury that has been a career death sentence for several NBA players.
The story highlights the indomitable spirit of the mind, and how Cousins braved all odds to get through the harrowing ordeal and later pave his own path back into the basketball court, at a time when none of the teams wanted him.
"I know where I wanna be. I know where I wanna get back to," the NBA All-Star can be heard saying in 'The Resurgence: DeMarcus Cousins'. "I know what type of player I want to be and I'm not settling for this injury to determine who I am as a player. I determine my worth and I won't let an injury do that."
Unable to sleep, Cousins stood on the balcony of his plush residence in Las Vegas in the early hours of Monday, July 2, 2018, and mulled his next move.
Despite a series of stellar performances before his injury, and especially considering his unparalleled partnership with Anthony Davis for the Pelicans until he was hurt, the 6' 11'' 270-pound giant couldn't believe he was left in the lurch after having shed blood, sweat, and tears for the team for almost a year.
Famously known as "Boogie", the full-time athlete was already frustrated with the long recovery and desperately wanted to get back in the game. However, the uncertainty of his future became the tipping point for the star.
Cousins realized he had to look out for himself.
Just moments before the sun rose, the champ came up with a shocking plan. He immediately called his longtime agent Jarinn Akana and spoke to him about the "Boogie Bomb" he was about to drop onto the league.
His logic was simple - if no franchise was willing to take him on, he would make the first call. Cousins decided to try for the midlevel exception with the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors, despite them already having four All-Stars in their lineup.
When the Warriors' general manager Bob Myers received a call from Cousins, he couldn't believe his ears. They immediately took him in, as the deal was too good to be true. A player of his caliber had just signed the midlevel exception of $5.3 million for one season.
Bear in mind, Cousins had made a staggering $18 million the previous season, and was expecting a five-year, $150 million contract extension from the Pelicans before he tore his Achilles. However, he was told they did not plan to re-sign him, while other potential franchises told his agent they were concerned about his injury in the long run or that he was not the right fit for their team.
After accepting the Warriors' midlevel exception, Cousins told Showtime producers, “This was my ace of spades. This was my chess move.”
And the move paid for both Cousins and his new team the Warriors, as he made his debut for them on January 18, 2019, scoring 14 points before fouling out of the 112–94 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. On April 2, he scored a season-high 28 points to go with 13 rebounds in a 116–102 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Cousins had been a dominant force on the court throughout his amateur and pro careers, and has often been described as an unpredictable personality known for run-ins with coaches, teammates, referees, and media members.
Nonetheless, this documentary film delivers unfettered access to the often-criticized superstar so viewers can make their own judgments.
To know more about his extraordinary journey, watch The Resurgence: DeMarcus Cousins, premiering Saturday, April 13, 8/7c, Showtime.