Programming note: Watch tonight's Warriors-Suns game at 6 p.m. PT streaming live on the MyTeams app.

For DeMarcus Cousins, 2018 got off to a pretty good start.

Over 11 games from Jan. 3 to Jan. 24, he averaged 22.9 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting over 36 percent from deep. Even more importantly, his New Orleans Pelicans went 8-3.

But everything changed on Jan. 26 when he tore his left Achilles tendon. About five months later, free agency didn't go as he planned, as he didn't receive a multiyear offer to his liking.

And worst of all, his grandmother -- Mary Marcelete Alexander Shaw -- died last week at the age of 92.

“She was the foundation of the family,” Cousins told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. “So, I’m going into 2019 with that. She was everything for us ... she was the root of our family. To lose a vital piece like that to our family is devastating to everyone.

“She lived an incredible and very long life. She went out happy. She went out painless. I couldn’t have asked for a better life for my grandma.”

Shaw constantly stressed humility to Cousins, who certainly has been humbled in 2018. His rehab and recovery has been excruciatingly difficult, and there have been many dark days for the six-time All-Star. 

The Warriors close out 2018 on Monday night against the Phoenix Suns, and it's still unclear at what point in 2019 Cousins will make his season debut. But his goal for the next 12 months is clear and simple.


“Be better than I was the previous year," Cousins told The Undefeated. "I’m ready for the next moment.”

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller