DeMarcus Cousins knows what Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is going through.
The Warriors big man is seven games into returning from rupturing his left Achilles' tendon last year. The Wizards announced on Tuesday that Wall, Cousins' teammate at the University of Kentucky in 2009-10, is out until next year after he ruptured his Achilles.
"I talked to him this morning, actually," Cousins told reporters at the Warriors' practice facility on Tuesday. "It sucks. It's unfortunate. But me knowing John as well as I do, I know he'll overcome this. There's no doubt in my mind about that. He's overcome a lot of hard obstacles in his life, [and you can] just add this to the list."
Achilles injuries are often, at-best, career-altering if not ultimately career-ending. Still, Cousins' early returns should encourage Wall.
Although the 28-year-old is clearly rounding back into form and into shape, he has been effective for the Warriors so far. Per 36 minutes, Cousins is averaging 22.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and a career-high 6.3 assists. His production scoring and on the glass is down from last year, but so is his usage rate.
Cousins had the benefit of integrating into a lineup that didn't need him as much as the Wizards will need Wall. But, the five-time All-Star can heed his former teammate's advice about staying mentally strong in light of such a devastating injury.
"I basically just told him prepare for the hard days, because [there's] a lot of them," Cousins said. "You know, through it all, just try to better yourself each day and once that day's behind you, just move on to the next [one] regardless of the result. That was my advice and like I said, there's no doubt in my mind he'll overcome this."
Having an old friend as an example should help.