Warriors

How DeMarcus Cousins' own highlight videos helped him rehab Achilles

How DeMarcus Cousins' own highlight videos helped him rehab Achilles

Every once in a while, the greatest athletes in the world need a confidence boost, especially when the game has been taken away from them. 

DeMarcus Cousins, usually brash and boisterous, needed just that.

As Cousins struggled to get around his Las Vegas home while rehabbing from rupturing his left Achilles tendon, his trainer and confidants showed him his own highlights as a reminder of just how great of a player he is.

“We had to show him film of what he was,” Cousins' trainer Joe Abunassar said to The Athletic. “We had to get him thinking about playing basketball. You’re so far removed from playing basketball when you’re in the therapy room doing pilates. He’s just like, ‘I just want to play basketball.'"

It worked wonders for the Warriors' big man.

“Watching those videos of me running up and down the court, dunking and having fun, it brought a light to my day,” Cousins said. “It helped me realize that I’m at my worst point right now, but I can get back to that person. It helped me find the fire, because being in that situation of having that injury and feeling like you’re at the end.

"Your first thought was, ‘I’m done with. Man, I’m done with.’ That’s human instinct. But that helped me find that fire, helped me continue to push and bring some happiness to me.

“Waking up every day in that moment, limping out of bed, or looking for my crutch and seeing a big ass cast, I needed to see myself and see what I am capable of.”

The current version of DeMarcus Cousins might not be the same as the four-time All-Star he watched, but 2019 Boogie is getting close to his former self.

Through two games, the Warriors are 2-0 and Cousins is averaging 11 points, 7.5 rebounds and four assists. When he's on the court with the team's other four All-Stars, they can't be stopped, and Boogie's numbers per 36 minutes are a wild 22 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists. 

This goes to show we all need a confidence boost here and there, even when you're a 6-foot-11 dominant force on the basketball floor.

Eight NBA stars who could've hit higher level without major injuries

Eight NBA stars who could've hit higher level without major injuries

The Warriors have dealt with their fair share of significant injuries these last couple of seasons.

Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles, Klay Thompson tore his ACL and Steph Curry broke his hand within a six-month span. All of Dub Nation, as well as other NBA fans, hope that these stars will recover and carry on their Hall of Fame-caliber careers at the same level as they did before their injuries.

However, it's scary to think about how many major stars were not so lucky. Bill Walton's career was derailed by injuries, Larry Bird's back hindered his longevity in the league and Yao Ming's feet couldn't handle much more than eight seasons.

There are countless other examples, and Kerith Burke, Damion Lee and I discussed some of them on this week's episode of the "Runnin' Plays" podcast. We examined the players' careers that we would've loved to see be fulfilled and not hijacked by ailments.

Here are some of those players we listed, plus a few that I could not help but add.

CLICK HERE FOR MOST INTRIGUING PLAYERS WITH CAREERS CUT SHORT BY INJURIES

Warriors' Steph Curry explains rationale behind Howard golf donation

Warriors' Steph Curry explains rationale behind Howard golf donation

Warriors star Steph Curry simply was visiting Howard University to attend a screening of a documentary he was an executive producer for called "Emanuel," which focused on the horrific 2015 shooting of nine Black worshipers by a white supremacist inside a Charleston, South Carolina church.

But a single conversation with a Howard student ended up leading to Curry making a donation allowing the school to create a Division I men's and women's golf program, beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.

The amount of Curry's donation wasn't disclosed by the University, but it is expected to support several scholarships, hire a coach and fund the initial recruiting process. One student in particular, Otis Ferguson IV, sparked the idea in Curry's head after the two spoke about Ferguson's hopes of Howard creating a club golf program.

"He told me how much golf means to him," Curry told reporters after the first round of the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe. "The idea came just from that. I heard what he had to say and I was like 'What can we do to bring that Division I program back?' Men's and Women's, and create scholarships, because we know how great the game of golf is, wanting to continue to create access and opportunity, not just playing but also in the business of golf."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

The coronavirus pandemic could have some disastrous impacts on Division I athletic departments over the next few years, but it doesn't sound like Curry's donation is going anywhere.

The recent groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement has brought national attention to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which never have had the same kind of competitive football and men's basketball programs as their other Division I counterparts. Five-star prep basketball prospect Makur Maker committed to Howard's men's basketball program on July 3, which could be just the beginning of a trend of elite prep athletes choosing HBCUs for all sports, not just basketball.

[RELATED: Watch Curry, Canelo Álvarez spar at golf tournament]

Curry's obsession with golf has been well documented throughout his NBA career. He and former teammate Andre Iguodala famously would sneak away during playoff series to get 18 holes in, whether they were at home or in another market. Iguodala recently said he bet a lump sum on Curry to beat the field in Lake Tahoe this weekend at the ACC.

The two-time NBA MVP finished Friday's first-round in 14th place, with 14 points (ACC utilizes golf's Stableford scoring system). Considering Steph's father Dell Curry stood ahead of him in the standings going into Saturday's second round, expect Curry to come out motivated at Edgewood Tahoe South.