Former University of Kentucky basketball standout DeMarcus Cousins has suffered his third major injury to the same leg in the past two years.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Los Angeles Lakers center tore the ACL in his left knee during a workout this week, confirming the news through Cousins’ agent, Jeff Schwartz. The ESPN report said Cousins bumped knees with another player while training in Las Vegas on Monday.
Wojnarowski said no timeline has been set for Cousins’ surgery, but the injury could sideline him for most or all of the 2019-20 season.
Cousins signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Lakers this offseason, joining a team that includes former UK star Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Cousins, 29, spent last season with the Golden State Warriors, averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 30 regular-season games. He fought through a left quadriceps injury suffered during his second career playoff game and wound up returning in time to contribute for the Warriors in the NBA Finals. He averaged 7.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in eight postseason games.
Cousins, who previously was a teammate of Davis in New Orleans, suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in January 2018 that ended his 2017-18 season with the Pelicans.
Across nine NBA seasons with the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans and Golden State, Cousins has averaged 21.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. The 6-foot-11 Cousins is a four-time NBA All-Star.
Before Sacramento chose him No. 5 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, Cousins played one season at Kentucky in 2009-10, helping lead the Wildcats to an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight while averaging 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
This summer, the Herald-Leader voted Cousins one of the top 10 UK players during the John Calipari era and one of the top 10 NBA players under Calipari’s watch at Kentucky.
Cousins returned to Lexington last month as the general manager of a team in The Basketball Tournament, a $2 million event that brought eight teams to Kentucky for a weekend regional. At the time, Cousins was in good spirits.
“It feels good to be back (in Lexington). I feel like an 18-year-old kid again,” Cousins told the Herald-Leader’s Jared Peck. “I’m super excited for this opportunity for not only myself, but the guys who are actually putting in work on the floor — exciting times ahead.”
Cousins’ team won the Lexington Regional but was later eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 64-team tournament.