DeMarcus Cousins is ready to prove his doubters wrong and produce a solid season in LA.
This offseason, Cousins signed yet another one-year deal, this time with the Lakers. But in the first photo of Boogie since joining the team, he doesn't look like his usual self. Cousins appears to have lost a significant amount of weight, as he looks super skinny in the image from the Lakers' practice facility.
Shortly after signing with Los Angeles, he set a fairly ambitious goal to play all 82 games this season, something that he has never done in his career. The center is clearly serious about reemerging as one of the league's most dominant big men, as he hasn't been the same player since tearing his Achilles tendon in the 2017-18 season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
He didn't have much luck this past season with the Golden State Warriors either, as he struggled to stay healthy while battling a quadriceps injury during the playoffs.
Perhaps the weight loss will help keep Boogie on the court, but it may impact his game if he's lost any strength.
DeMarcus Cousins on his health right now: "I'm working my tail off every single day. My quad is 100% healed. I'm building it up every day...I'm getting stronger. Getting in better shape. My plan is to come into camp in tiptop shape. My goal is to play 82 gms this season." #Lakers— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) July 11, 2019
Cousins' career high in games played in a single season is 81, but as a full time starter, he's never eclipsed 75. The NBA season is a long and grueling one, especially for a center, so one would have to wonder if the Lakers would even want Cousins to take on that much playing time.
It's more likely that they would rather Boogie play less games so that he's well rested for the playoffs, where the games seriously matter.
Meal Prep Demarcus Cousins comeback season!— Vegan Boogie Cousins (@Irv_Do) July 11, 2019
The most important thing for Cousins is for him to remain healthy over the course of the NBA season. Losing all of that weight will most certainly help him stay nimble on the court, but whether he'll be able to handle the physical demands that come with playing at the center position remains to be seen. However, if he can put it all together, the Lakers are going to be a scary team, and a serious title contender.