The Nihilist's Guide To DeMarcus Cousins's Injury

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If karma exists, DeMarcus Cousins did some ethereal being mighty wrong. If this is just bad luck, Cousins not only has his own but several other people’s as well.

Either way, the news that Cousins is injured, again, while preparing for his next career-resuscitation is an aggressively cruel development—and that’s even if you don’t want to speculate what a third serious leg injury means for his future. His present just keeps going from suck to further suck.


According to Woj, he injured it while working out, preparing for the upcoming season with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Shams, it’s a torn ACL. When it’s August, and you get Woj’d and Shams’d in a two-hour period, you’re getting the Viking cruise to hell.

And no, this isn’t the moment when you get to tell us his weight was an issue, or he is getting paid back for being unpleasant to a reporter. Nor is it the time when you remind us of his scores of charitable impulses, many of which came without publicity and therefore worth double. This isn’t even a good time to share your views on when to sign or not sign a contract. Save it for tomorrow, when everyone’s already off on their early weekends.


In short, not everything has to be a cautionary tale. Sometimes you get what you get, not what you deserve, and in the happy world of sports, getting what you get can be close to intolerable. I mean, how much rehab time must a fellow endure? How many dream scenarios must end with the protagonist falling out of an airplane? How much money must appear, then disappear? Somewhere there was a max deal for him once upon a time. Now, pffffft.

DeMarcus Cousins is either under a curse or being test-driven for one, not because of past behaviors or despite past behaviors, but because of nothing whatsoever.


I mean, who would curse him? The Sacramento Kings? They already did their worst to him by having him as the centerpiece of a brutally-operated and results-deficient franchise. The Golden State Warriors? He didn’t overcome the Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson injuries, but he didn’t cause them either, and in any event wasn’t supposed to be the key to their fourth championship. The Lakers? If the Lakers could screw this up, they’d have done it already.

No, for this, you go otherworldly or you go home. Cousins’s career is not a tragedy because the word tragedy is too strong, but it is a story about the sometimes vicious capriciousness of timing. Especially this next summer, with a free agent market everyone assures us is barely D-League level, DeMarcus Cousins 2.0 would have been a king. But DeMarcus Cousins 4.0, a big man with three leg injuries in 19 months, isn’t going to be the centerpiece of anything.


If you need this to make sense in that there’s-a-lesson-in-this-for-all-of-us way, a malevolent being with an insatiable appetite for grudges fits well. Or maybe there’s a scientific explanation—anyone notice any changes in the magnetic field lately? Maybe a leg once insulted is prone to more insult, though I’ll leave to those of you who passed on medical school because you thought you too much about the human anatomy and preferred that gig with the dry cleaner.

The likelier explanation, though, is no explanation at all. While I like the plot twist of him being cursed, that implies that there must be a reason for the curse and there doesn’t seem to be one—not even Vlade Divac, who looks he could play a curse on television. This is a nihilist approach, but until we get his doctors telling us why Cousins’s legs have turned on him, it is our position that his knee crumpled because it crumpled.


But we remain open to the possibility that he got done by Xythron The Vindictive, Galactic Lord of Cruelty For Amusement, Quadrant Nine. If he gets shin splints and then dislocates his hip, then something powerful really hates him and has chosen his legs as the milieu for its dissatisfaction.

Or worse yet, a contract from the Phoenix Suns materializes. Then we’ll know for dead sure.


Ray Ratto urges everyone to exercise less, for this very reason.