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DeMarcus Cousins leaves USA Basketball practice with leg injury; tweets he’s fine

Aug 14, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

UPDATE 7:03 pm: Cousins tweeted out this in the wake of the injury.

If you don’t want to take the player’s word for it, how about a doctor? Here is the official statement from USA Basketball:

According to USA Basketball team physician Dr. Lisa Callahan (Hospital for Special Surgery/New York Knicks), an MRI was done and revealed no structural damage. Cousins is listed as day-to-day.

He’s day to day, just like the rest of us (to quote Olbermann). So, nothing to see here, move along, I guess. Still, here is the original story from someone at the practice. — Kurt Helin


CHICAGO — DeMarcus Cousins went down with what appeared to be a right leg injury about two minutes into the final scrimmage of the day at Thursday’s USA Basketball practice.

There was complete silence in the gym when Cousins hit the deck, with everyone holding their collective breath in hopes that nothing serious had occurred, like it did with Paul George and the injury he suffered at the USA Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas.

Cousins remained there for a minute or two before gingerly walking off the floor with the assistance of trainers.

Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball National Team Managing Director, said afterward that the initial word was that the injury wasn’t believed to be serious. But an MRI was scheduled just to be safe.

“We think it’s going to be precautionary,” Colangelo said. “At least that’s our hope and expectation based on what the doctor and trainers are saying, but we need an MRI just to be sure. He needs that, too, for his own mental well-being. He said he got a little scared, obviously, when you go down after we had that prior injury. So let’s just hope for the best.”

Cousins looked good on one of the first few possessions of the game, getting the ball down low and spinning around a defender to score off the glass. He isn’t expected to play this week, and the severity of the injury could factor into his chances for making the squad, considering they plan to cut down to 12 players once the team finishes with exhibitions in New York at the end of next week.

“The plan has always been that when we leave New York, we would like to be at 12,” Colangelo said. “But I think we have to be flexible.  It’s always been that our situation is fluid, and hopefully, we have no other injuries. Chances are Cousins won’t be able to play this week. I can’t believe he would, because even if he’s 100 percent OK, he’s going to have to rest a little bit and get treatments.”

Colangelo said he addressed the team at the morning meeting and talked about what he called “the Paul George situation,” but seeing another member of the team go down — even with something that initially isn’t believed to be serious — had him searching for answers.

“I don’t want to say we’re snakebit, but you start wondering about things,” Colangelo said. “I want to get this one past us. Let’s just hope that he’s healthy.”

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    DeMarcus Cousins really wants a spot on Team USA so he’s just taking Paul George’s lead. Go down with a serious injury and get guaranteed spots this year and 2016.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      Thanks for that “professional” insight amateur basketball pundit.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Insight and jokes are impossible to differentiate for you aren’t they, champ? Second time lately you’ve given a literal response to a joke.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        His was as much of a joke as yours, only his was funny.

  2. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Damn, how much smaller ball can the team get?

    • 88heatnation - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      Im hearing Steph Curry will play Center

  3. pburghballin - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Please God let everyone come out of this summer healthy. I know many of you disagree with me…but I just can’t get 100% behind this USA basketball thing, sorry. Many will take that as being unpatriotic, but it’s not. I just feel the greater obligation goes to the organization and the fans (who enable it) that are filling your pockets and bank account. What happens to the Kings if Cousins goes down? They’d be horrible to the point of flirting with historical badness. God forbid Rose again…that’d probably literally make me ill. And Anthony Davis? Adios NO’s season…

    • kenyante - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      It can happen at anytime. It just so happened to happen in a scrimmage.

      • fanofthegame79 - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        I agree that it can happen anytime, but I bet these guys are going pretty hard at each other; much harder than they do in Drew/Summer league games. They’re fighting for roster spots so it’s as much of a pride thing than it is a patriotic thing…not that I take anything away from their patriotic spirit but these guys are used to being the top players pretty much their entire lives, and to be cut from such a national situation is difficult to absorb (just look at John Wall and Boogie Cousins).

      • pburghballin - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        You’re absolutely right. It can happen getting out of bed. But if it happens on the court, playing an NBA game or in an NBA practice…at least it happened while you’re doing what you’re getting paid to do. It’s just my opinion. I can see how a lot of these guys find joy in playing for the USA, I understand that. I do. But the millions of dollars they’re getting paid says they have an obligation to be healthy for their teams when the time comes. That’s that.

  4. pizzadawg - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    This team is like Final Destination

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      Don’t jinx them – they have to get on multiple airplanes!

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