Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday night at 6 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.
DeMarcus Cousins made his season debut on Jan. 18 against the Clippers.
He's back in action, and pretty much everything surrounding his return has been positive. But his year of rehab certainly had its trials and tribulations ... and there were certainly some dark times.
The process was not easy for the four-time All-Star. It also wasn't completely rosy and drama-free for the Warriors.
“I’ll be dead honest with you and you can print this: he was a pain in the a** when we were trying to get him ready and scrimmage,” Steve Kerr said (while laughing) to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “He was just so angry, because he wasn’t playing.
“He was just in a bad mood because he’s a passionate, emotional person and you think about what was taken away with the injury, not just the playing time and the joy of being out there, but the contract that he was looking at. His life got turned upside down.”
Yes, it did.
And now Cousins is hoping to change the narrative surrounding him and his long-term potential. The blueprint is to win a championship, prove he is back to being the player he once (was while being a great locker room presence) and secure a big payday in free agency.
If things go according to plan, it will all have been worth it. But Cousins will never forget the lows of the recovery. Those scrimmages against Warriors staffers in December and January were not fun for the two-time All-NBA selection.
“I hated it!” Cousins told The Athletic last week.“I hated it so much. I hated it. But I appreciated those guys just grinding with me, going through that grind with me, laying their bodies on the line. Of course, they’re not in basketball shape or even prepared physically to be out there playing. But to risk that for me … I appreciate those guys for it."
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller