DeMarcus Cousins had two things going against him as a “fan favorite” basketball player. One was his short temper which made plenty of folks think of him as a spoiled brat. The other was his size; Wilt Chamberlain once said about being as big as he was:
- Nobody roots for Goliath.
As Cousins aged, he also matured. He never achieved Job-like patience, but he was no longer a guy with a short fuse. He and Anthony Davis seemed to have a good thing going for them in New Orleans when Cousins tore his Achilles tendon. That was in the middle of the 2017/2018 NBA regular season. From the moment of that tendon loss until now, DeMarcus Cousins’ life seems to have been like that of the Al Capp comic strip character, Joe Btfsplk. Everywhere poor ol’ Joe went, there was a rain cloud over his head and disasters happened all around him. Joe was so unlucky; he did not even have any vowels in his name.
In the summer of 2018, Cousins signed a 1-year deal with the Warriors and after rehab and a short stint in the G-League to put him in “basketball shape”, he played in his first game for Golden State in January 2019. Three months later, the playoffs were underway, and Cousins tore his quadriceps muscle rendering him hors de combat until the final series against the Raptors.
As a free agent this summer, he signed on with the Lakers on another 1-year deal. That contract would pair him once again with Anthony Davis and it would augment that duo with the presence of LeBron James. Yesterday, in a workout in Las Vegas, DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL and may have put his career in jeopardy at age 29. In the span of about 19 months, he went from “big man with a good outside shot” to “what will his next injury be?”
Looking at this from the perspective of the Lakers, Cousins was probably slotted to be a guy who could overlap with Anthony Davis to prevent too much “tire wear” on either of those big men. He and Davis could provide a bit of “load management” for each other without having either one sit out a game. If that was the Lakers’ thinking, the question now is where do they turn to get a replacement for Cousins. Off the top of my head, I can think of several big men who are still unsigned – – but there is a reason that is the case in every situation:
- Carmelo Anthony
- Dwight Howard
- Zaza Pachulia
I am sure there are other possible candidates for the Lakers to consider, but looking at the list above, I would have to say the pickings are slim.
Bob Molinaro has this comment in his column this morning in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“Idle thought: If pretentious officials at The Ohio State University succeed in trademarking ‘The,’ the University of Virginia (and other state schools) should think about trademarking OF.”
And that is all you need to know about THE idea of trademarking THE word “The”.
There are reports of two new additions to ESPN’s coverage of the NFL:
- Ed Werder has been rehired by ESPN after he was purged/downsized/whatever about a year ago. It seems that he will be ESPN’s man on the scene in Dallas/Houston – the role he filled previously for the network. In the past, he had provided useful and interesting information – – albeit not mind-blowing insights – – when the light went on. From my perspective, this is a good re-addition.
- Jack Del Rio has been hired by ESPN to be part of the studio analysis roster at ESPN. Del Rio played in the NFL for 11 seasons; he was a head coach in the NFL for 12 seasons. He is articulate and “outspoken” which means to me that he will be worth listening to. I see him as Rex Ryan minus Ryan’s persistent self-pumpulation. This could be an interesting hire…
Let me slide here into another NFL item that has filled space in the “news hole” recently. According to reports, Dak Prescott turned down a Cowboys’ contract that was worth $30M per year and according to other reports, Dak Prescott is seeking a contract worth $40M per year. From the outset, let me say clearly that none of those reports had enough evidence of whatever claim was being touted to call the reports ‘investigative journalism”. Like all the commentators before, I too have not seen any of the Cowboys’ offers nor any of the demands made by Prescott and his agent(s).
There is another point to be made here as it pertains to NFL contract stories. In addition to things like the total value of the deal and the average salary per year, NFL contracts have to be judged to some degree on how much of the money is guaranteed and how much of the guarantee is up-front cash-on-the-barrelhead. None of the reports I read pertaining to the Cowboys/Prescott negotiations provided any information along that line.
With those caveats in mind, let me suggest an impartial view of those talks:
- $30M per year is the going rate for franchise QBs these days. If the Cowboys think Prescott is their long-term QB incumbent, that will need be a starting point for their contract offers.
- $40M per year would make Dak Prescott the highest paid NFL player ever. I think he is indeed the franchise QB that the Cowboys are looking for, but I am not sure he has demonstrated that he is so spectacular to be worth that sort of money.
- There is a whole lot of room between $30M per year and $40M per year and plenty of time for the two sides to reach an agreement. Once the season starts there will be “real stuff” to report on and these negotiations will not need to be hyped to fill space in newspapers, on blogs and on the air for sports radio.
Finally, speaking of salaries for pro athletes, here is a comment from Brad Rock in the Deseret News:
“Billionaire Warren Buffett told Sports Illustrated that Alex Rodriguez ‘doesn’t need me — he’s got a money mind.’
“Yes, well, the $378 million he made in baseball would certainly do that.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………