Less than a minute into his first game as a member of the LA Clippers, DeMarcus Cousins maneuvered his way around Enes Kanter, tapped an offensive rebound to himself and scored on a putback right in front of a delighted Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.
Making his debut for the team after signing a 10-day contract on Monday, Cousins' seven points, four rebounds and two assists in seven minutes during the Clippers' 133-116 blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday at Staples Center.
"He was great," said Paul George, who hit six 3-pointers and finished with 36 points. "He's an All-Star. He's still one of the most skilled bigs in the league. He can finish, he rebounds. I thought you saw a little bit of everything from him tonight, and he showed he's still got a lot left to give."
The Clippers are the latest stop for Cousins since serious injuries threatened his All-Star career. Cousins tore his Achilles in 2018 with the New Orleans Pelicansand had a long rehab before returning. He then suffered a quadriceps tear during the first round of the playoffs with the Golden State Warriors in 2019. He returned and played in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and then joined the Los Angeles Lakers, only to tear his ACL before the 2019-20 season began.
After missing all of last season, Cousins returned and played in 25 games with the Houston Rockets this season before he was released. It has been a grueling and long road back.