I was out mowing my grass today, and I got the news via my watch that Boogie Cousins had suffered a "leg injury" during a recent workout. I thought nothing of it really, he was coming off a torn ACL and torn quad, so I just assumed it was attached to one of those injuries.
Well, when I got inside, I saw that he actually tore his ACL again. I don't know if it was the same one he tore before, but, it is not good news. I do know that much. Regardless of where the tear is, this is devastating news for one of my favorite NBA players. Sure, I wasn't happy that he signed with the Lakers, but I also wasn't happy that he signed with the Warriors last offseason. He did essentially the same thing this season, a one year prove it deal to hopefully get paid next summer, but now, he is gong to miss another full season in his prime.
This stinks. I really dislike horrible injuries like this to players I am not a big fan of, so when it happens to a guy I actually like, a guy I enjoy watching play, a guy I actively root for, it makes me very unhappy. People are now going to forget how dominate, and good and agile and explosive on and off the court Boogie was a few years back. He is in Isaiah Thomas territory. Thomas came out and exploded while with the Celtics a few years back, and since getting hurt, in the playoffs, of which he shouldn't have been playing, but Danny Ainge used him anyway, and now he has been on 4 teams in three years now, just trying to get back to a fraction of his old self. When he was with the Celtics, he was an excellent scorer and a fourth quarter killer. He was that dude, and he was looking at a big time payday. Then Kyrie Irving came calling, and like I said, Thomas had a nagging hip injury, and he was relegated to being a sidekick on a LeBron Cavs team. The Celtics traded him for Irving, and since then, Thomas has never been the same. He will never get his payday, most likely. He seems destined to be a one year deal kind of guy for the next 5 or 6 years, then, he will end up overseas, or become a coach. I can see it so clearly now. I fear that is what will happen to Boogie.
Now don't get it twisted, Boogie is a much better, and much bigger star than Thomas, but he is coming off three horrid leg injuries, and he is a big man. The cards are stacked against him for a variety of reasons now. For one, the modern NBA is drifting away from a player like Boogie. He is a back to the basket big that likes to play a low post game. Sure, he can shoot threes a bit, but he is not a real threat from deep. The modern NBA doesn't want that. They want bigs like Brook Lopez or Anthony Davis. Both those guys can shoot from deep, and Davis is one of the best defenders in the league. Hell, a guy like Giannis, who isn't a good shooter yet, can still glide his way to the hoop and has some handles. Boogie doesn't have that anymore. Second, he was on this Lakers teams as a backup and a spark off the bench. That is not his game. Boogie needs to be in the flow of the game to get going. He needs to start for his ego. He needs to get touches, as all bigs do. He needs to be included to stay involved. Point blank. If Boogie doesn't get the touches, or the accolades, he loses interest. Look how poor he played in the Finals last year. Again, I love the dude, but he was awful in the Finals. That is because he wasn't looked upon as a real option. The Raptors didn't fear him, and it showed. That was going to be his role on this Lakers team. He wasn't going to start. He wasn't going to get touches in the post. He was not going to be a focal point. And now, he tore his ACL. Third, he has three leg injuries, and that is doom for a big man. Just look at Bill Walton or Yao Ming. Those guys can barely walk now, and when they got hurt, especially leg injuries, they were never the same. They suffered major setbacks. I don't see how that doesn't happen to Boogie now. Finally, he is losing such an important year for his career. I felt like he was really going to pop off this year, and blow up. I genuinely believed he was going to get a good deal from some team at the end of the season. Now, that is not happening. He is not going to get the big deal. He is not going to get even close to max money. He is never going to get the years that he wants. It is not going to happen now, and maybe not ever. It is the brutal truth. The NBA is a business, and Boogie is now getting into damaged goods territory. Signing him to a max deal now would be like if Coca Cola brought back "New Coke". That stuff was awful, and they got rid of it ASAP. I feel like that is how teams will now look at Boogie. He may get a few one year deals here and there, hell, he may even get a 2 year deal if he plays, and plays well in 2020, but that is his best case scenario.
This really bums me out. I want what is best for Boogie, and another torn ACL is very, very far off from anything good at all. This stinks. I wish top guys would stop getting hurt. It hurts the game when All Stars are missing half, or full years. And make no mistake, Boogie is a star. That is though is looking more and more like a was now.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet.
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