Many basketball fans had been rooting for John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, once college teammates at the University of Kentucky and still very good friends, to reunite in the NBA. They just thought it would be on the Washington Wizards.
Wall and Cousins are back together again, now with the Houston Rockets, as not long before Wall was traded there by the Wizards, Cousins joined the team as a free agent. On Sunday, Wall addressed the media for the first time since joining the Rockets and described what it is like for them to join forces again.
"On Friday, we got out on the court for the first time. Just walking out there and seeing he’s got the same color I’ve got one and we’re on the same team, it kind of brought back memories from when we were in college," Wall said.
Wall and Cousins were part of John Calipari's first recruiting class at Kentucky. They combined with fellow NBA player Eric Bledsoe to lead the Wildcats to the Elite 8 in 2010.
Both then left after their freshman years to go pro with Wall joining the Wizards as the No. 1 overall pick. Wall remained in Washington until last week, while Cousins jumped around from the Kings to the Pelicans, then to the Warriors and Lakers, before arriving in Houston.
All along, many Wizards fans hoped he would land in D.C. That never happened.
Cousins, like Wall, also had his career disrupted by injuries. He, too, had a ruptured Achilles tendon, but also a torn ACL.
Wall sees similarities in their journeys to this point.
"I know how hard he’s worked and what he’s been through the last couple of years to get back to being the DeMarcus Cousins that he was before. The last two years have basically been hell for me. I know what I’ve been through also," Wall said.
Now that we will get to see Wall and Cousins work together as teammates again, Wall gave a preview of what to expect. He says they will push each other as competitors.
"We will both challenge each other. While we’re here and while we’re teammates, we’re going to challenge each other to get the best out of each other so we can have a heck of a season," he said.
As Wall and Cousins play together again, it won't only be Rockets fans that pay attention. Plenty of people in Lexington and Washington will be as well.