August was a roller coaster ride for the Los Angeles Lakers center. Even by the normally exciting NBA offseason standards, DeMarcus Cousins tends to grab attention on a near-weekly basis. First, he suffered a major injury during practice. Then, he got married at a splashy, star-studded affair. Soon after, an arrest warrant issued for Cousins came out in his home state of Alabama.
DeMarcus Cousins’ torn ACL
For the third season in a row, an NBA team must figure out how to replace Cousins. His string of bad luck includes three separate leg injuries across three teams. The 29-year-old’s torn ACL likely marks the end of Cousins’ run as a long-term contract player. Due to his size and previous Achilles tendon injury, Cousins’ recovery window will be a full year at a minimum.
With this injury, the Lakers’ push for playoff-caliber talent takes a major blow. A volatile Dwight Howard is healthy, but clearly not up to the task of what LA hoped a healthy Cousins could do. The Lakers offense will miss Cousins. But the real test is in finding a role for Howard on a team with two superstars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
NBA stars support Cousins at his wedding
Only two weeks after his career-changing injury, Cousins married his longtime partner Morgan Lang. The couple’s big day was a who’s who of NBA superstars. Several of the groom’s ex-teammates from Golden State, including Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green, celebrated at the reception. New teammate Anthony Davis showed up as well.
Despite suffering a grievous injury just a short time ago, Cousins danced with his bride and seemed to be in good spirits. Of course, he left the more daring dance moves to Lang. Cousins had no issues standing and walking normally. If he sticks to his physical therapy plan, he could get healthy enough to play in the season after next.
By all accounts, it was a wonderful day for Cousins, his friends, and family. While the wedding went off without a hitch, allegations leading up to it put Cousins back in the news — this time, for all the wrong reasons.
Cousins’ arrest warrant in Alabama
Cousins faces another unfortunate wrinkle. One week after he tore his ACL and one week before his beautiful wedding ceremony, the NBA player allegedly threatened his child’s mother. In a tape leaked to TMZ Sports, Cousins told ex-girlfriend Cristy West that he would “[…]put a bullet in your [expletive] head” if his seven-year-old didn’t show up to his wedding day.
West stood her ground and insisted their child would not attend. She has not explicitly clarified her reasons for keeping her child away from Cousins. West took her recording to the Mobile, Alabama police. She also filed court documents including an additional accusation that Cousins once choked her in a previous altercation. The Mobile Police Department issued a warrant for Cousins’ arrest.
The Lakers issued a statement saying they “take this claim seriously.” And they should; Cousins’ threat carries a penalty of up to one year in prison. Mobile police expect Cousins to turn himself in. Complications from his ACL recovery have kept him from doing so as of the time of publication. Doctors recommend avoiding air travel to prevent clotting. Whatever the outcome of Cousins’ arrest warrant, he will not play in the NBA for at least a full year.