Image courtesy: NBAE

As the game continues to expand, big men also become dynamic and talented with regards to their abilities. From being paint-reliant players, who only tend to excel in the art of post up, they transformed into the all-around style of play today — capable of handling the ball, spacing the floor, and doing what the occasional backcourt players are tasked upon. 

But, unfortunate as it seems to be, some modern bigs today are frequent victims of injuries, perhaps due to the fact that the movements they are doing don’t entirely correspond to their size — or sometimes it is just a matter of unluckiness that they are bound to succumb from a huge setback. 

And a clear example of this case is DeMarcus Cousins — which makes his former head coach Michael Malone disappointed. 

Right before the Denver Nuggets’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves wherein they prevailed via a 93-91 victory, Malone was asked about the evolution of the big man. The 50-year-old strategist brought up Cousins, who he used to guide on his past stint in Sacramento.

“I think it’s crazy that DeMarcus is not in the league right now. That guy is a very, very talented player.”

– Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone (via Harrison Wind)

A standout in Kentucky men’s basketball program, DeMarcus Cousins was a talented cager even before entering the 2010 NBA draft. As he was selected by the Sacramento Kings for the fifth pick, he became a threatening double-double machine in seven seasons with the team while harnessing triple All-star appearances and two All-NBA selections. Unfortunately, when he was then traded away to the New Orleans Pelicans, the dry spell of injuries started for him. His left achilles injury way back in 2018 ultimately blemished on what could be his sky-high peak as a modern big man. 

After that year, he just became a limited role player coming off the bench, joining the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and the L.A. Clippers. Currently a free agent, it’s just saddening to realize that Boogie faded away in this league due to being plagued by injuries and uncertainties. 

At age 31, Cousins might still have some gas left in his tank, and teams nowadays would hopefully realize what he can bring to the table.