OAKLAND -- There is no timeline yet for the return of DeMarcus Cousins -- or at least nothing he’s ready to divulge. It’s evident, though, that the center believes he'll have plenty to prove whenever he takes the court as a member of the Warriors.
“You guys will see a new DeMarcus on the floor,” he said at the team’s media day Monday. “I can’t wait to get to that point, just to show all the work that I’ve put in, into this injury. You’ll see it when the product is on the floor.”
Cousins sustained a ruptured left Achilles tendon last Jan. 26 as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, and he underwent surgery the following week. The 6-foot-11, 270-pound center has spent the past seven months rehabilitating in hopes of getting back to his All-Star level.
“I’m stubborn as hell,” he said. “I thought I knew that before, but I’m really starting to realize it now. My drive is only increased. I’m seriously like a madman right now.”
Asked what is motivating his comeback, Cousins had a snappy answer: “The haters. That’s all I need. I feed off of it. I love it.”
The Warriors say they feel no need to rush Cousins’ return, but they privately hope he can be back before the All-Star break in February.
“We’ll probably reevaluate him ... in about four weeks with another update on where he’s at,” general manager Bob Myers said.
“I know there’s a narrative that we’ll save DeMarcus for the playoffs. That’s inaccurate. When he can play, he’ll play. We won’t rush him, but we also won’t hold him back. We need time for him to acclimate, and we need time to acclimate to him. But it’s an exciting thing for our whole team to look forward to.”
Meanwhile, Cousins says he will be around his new teammates and available to serve as a mentor to young centers Jordan Bell, Damian Jones and Kevon Looney.
“You want what’s best for your teammates,” Cousins said. “You want them to succeed, so anything I can do to help in any way, I’m going to do that.”