Not only does DeMarcus Cousins have to overcome his ruptured left Achilles, but he has to overcome the history of star players not being the same after suffering the injury.
One player that knows all-too-well about declining production after rupturing his Achillies is former Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star Elton Brand, who lost almost all of the 2007-08 season due to his injury.
From the 1999-00 season through the 2006-07 season, Brand averaged 20.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game with the Bulls and Clippers. After the injury, he averaged just 9.9 points and 6.2 rebounds from the 2008-09 season through the 2015-16 season with the 76ers, Mavericks and Hawks.
So, is Brand worried the same fate awaits Cousins?
"When I had mine, it was 10 years ago. I think with today's technology, with the modalities that they have, it's different. My opinion? He'll be better than that. I feel like he's going to be great," Brand told The Athletic's Ethan Strauss at the Las Vegas Summer League on Sunday. "Things move fast. Technology moves fast, modalities move fast, there's all types of different treatments."
Then, Brand made a bold statement regarding Cousins to Strauss: "I think he's going to destroy the league once he comes back."
Cousins joined the Warriors on the mid-level exception after not receiving any offers when free agency opened last weekend. Brand is convinced teams will regret not offering a contract to Cousins.
"I'm on a management staff, so I can't talk that much about it, but people are going to feel ridiculous for not giving him that money, in my opinion," Brand told Strauss.