So far, reactions to the Warriors signing DeMarcus (Boogie) Cousins have been pretty straightforward. He is either:
A proven All-Star added to a world champion roster. No rush to send back the Larry O’Brien championship trophy, guys. Why don’t you just keep it?
An injured, moody malcontent. He will rage against officials, stack up technicals and pull the celebrated Warriors chemistry apart.
No need to pick a side now. We won’t see Boogie until at least December, while he rehabs that torn Achilles.
But in the meantime, admit it — you never saw this coming. My theory is that general manager Bob Myers has found a metric that states: Every successful team must have one player that is wildly inconsistent with everything your franchise believes.
Last year it was Nick (Swaggy P) Young — who was fun, although not very helpful — and this season it is Boogie Cousins. Another odd fit.
Naturally there’s lots of talk about how well he will recover from what has often been a career-ending injury. People wonder if Cousins will be able to run and jump.
Which would be awesome. Because he didn’t do either of those before he tore the Achilles. The words “out on the break” and “Cousins” rarely appear together. He does have a jump shot and there are times when space can be detected between his shoes and the floor.
Boogie’s game is predicated on the fact that he is the biggest brawler on the floor. And, at least before the injury, he could move.
He could be a good late-in- the-clock low post option — better than a long 3 at the buzzer. Also, it could be an end to the days of the Warriors’ rebounders getting pushed around.
Cousins is also, we should say, active and generous in the community.
But there’s the drama. Cousins takes foul calls extremely personally. One bad one can set him off. And once he is aggrieved, he is uncalmdownable.
The Warriors have to figure him for at least five ejections, even in half a season. Maybe there’s a hope that Cousins will serve as a flak catcher for Draymond Green, who will now only be the second-most likely to get T’d. Hopefully, they don’t set each other off or it will be T’s for two, all night long.
Which brings us to Steve Kerr. Hey, you can’t be a Zen coach if you don’t demonstrate calm in the face of adversity, right? Last year was a bit of a grind, but you held it together. Now, can you Boogie?
Kerr is likely up to the task. It’s no picnic to try to lead a group of young men who are wealthier, fitter and more famous than you. Kerr’s doing it with a sense of humor mixed with an edge. And the new contract, doubling his annual pay to $10 million, will help.
Besides, it could be worse. He could be former Warriors assistant Luke Walton, who is now the Lakers’ coach. Walton is presumably monitoring LeBron James news online because that’s the only way he will find out what’s going on.
Reports say James didn’t bother to check in with his coach after he accepted a $154 million offer to join the team.