The reuniting of former Kentucky teammates DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall for the Houston Rockets provides them both with a chance at redemption to prove they are still among the league’s best.
On Wednesday evening the announcement of the Houston Rockets‘ acquisition of John Wall from the Washington Wizards was reacted to by many, but most notably a simple smirking emoji from DeMarcus Cousins on Twitter.
Behind that one character tweet lies the symbolism of the excitement of two athletes whose NBA careers have been plagued by injuries over the past few NBA seasons. Excitement to prove the doubters wrong and power through the adversity that has been cast over their storied journeys so far.
In DeMarcus Cousins’ introductory press conference with the Rockets, he stated that Wall is a “brother for life”. Their careers together began at the University of Kentucky where they were both one and done freshmen and top-five draft picks in the 2010 NBA Draft. Their NBA careers also took on a similar path with both athletes earning All-Star and All-NBA nods up until injuries put their careers on the shelf.
What a John Wall/DeMarcus Cousins reunion means for the Houston Rockets
For Cousins, it started in 2018 with an Achilles tear, then in 2019 a quad injury, and lastly again in 2019 it was an ACL injury which he is now recovered from. And for Wall, it was December 2018, just about two years ago exactly when he suffered a torn Achillies and has been out of action since.
Looking back at their days at Kentucky, it was difficult to match the intensity both Wall and Cousins brought to the court, whether it was Cousins fighting off multiple opponents for a rebound or Wall exploding to the bucket for a tenacious dunk after a steal. Obviously, ten years later in the NBA, we will not see the same but expect to see some flashes in the new style Houston Rockets.
Now as we power to the 2020-21 NBA season both Wall and Cousins find themselves in a Houston Rockets uniform. The first time being teammates since their collegiate days at Kentucky.
In the press conference Cousins stated that playing on the same team is something they have dreamed about for a very long time. So it is almost a foregone conclusion that they kept in close contact throughout their NBA lives and possibly helped each other through their injury rehabilitation.
The bond that these two have formed over the past decade brings a new layer of team chemistry to the Houston Rockets this upcoming season. Everyone is aware that the team still revolves around offensive juggernaut James Harden, but it is rumored that he wanted to play with Wall.
So it may be safe to assume that he is on board with a culture change in the organization. One that can possibly be turned into a winning culture due to the brotherhood already instilled into two offseason additions for Space City.