DeMarcus Cousins will finally get to play his first game for the Golden State Warriors, and he's going to start too.
The center, who joined the team on a one-year deal in the summer, has yet to make his debut in a dubs uniform, the result of lengthy rehabilitation from an Achilles tendon injury suffered last January whilst on duty for the New Orleans Pelicans.
It has been a tough journey back for the four-time All-Star. But his time has finally arrived and he will start his first game for the defending champions when they face the Los Angeles Clippers away from home on Friday.
According to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, though, the player tried to return to the court weeks ago as he was keen on speeding up his timeline. The Warriors weren't totally against clearing him to play but they let him know that he would be restricted to 10 minutes a night.
Cousins wasn't ready to accept the compromise and opted to continue the rehab process so he could play more upon returning.
It has also come to light that he could have made his return on Wednesday but chose not to do so because he didn't want his first game back to be against the Pelicans, who visited the Oracle Arena on the night, losing 147-140.
There is still a bit of bad blood between the player and New Orleans as he was hoping to re-sign with the team but wasn't offered a new contract. Yet he refrained from making his debut against them as he didn't care for the headlines.
"I wasn’t going to return against them,” Cousins told Haynes before the Warriors' home win. “I didn’t because I didn’t’ want to give (the media) a storyline. Straight up. You can ask Bob (Myers) that.
"I didn’t want to give y’all a storyline. That’s why (my return) is Friday.”
Yahoo Sources: Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins attempted to move up return date and why he didn’t make his debut last night against his former team, New Orleans. https://t.co/96i5hFMhlT— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 17, 2019
What This Means
It's going to be a huge night for the Warriors. Of course, their new-look side shouldn't be evaluated on Cousins' first game back; but it could give us all a glimpse of how much improvement there could be with a new superstar center in the mix, if any.
It's also quite cool that the player did not want to have his big return happen against his former team. But he will get another chance to play them when the two sides clash again on April 9.