7. DeMarcus Cousins makes his debut
LeBron James took the media landscape by storm when he announced his decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers last summer. It took roughly one day for the Dubs to draw the attention back on themselves, with the announcement that All-NBA big man DeMarcus Cousins would be joining the squad on just a one-year deal worth $5.3 million.
With Boogie rehabbing a torn Achilles suffered the previous January, Golden State provided the four-time All-Star a low-pressure environment where the expectations would be slim. This would, in turn, allow Boogie to fully regain his elite level of play while providing the Warriors with an extra luxury as the season progressed.
His presence gave the Dubs five All-Stars from the previous season, a feat not accomplished since 1974-75, when the Boston Celtics had an elite starting lineup of their own. Given Cousins’ uncertain timetable, the only question remaining was when this quintet of players would all share the court at the same time.
As it turned out, that day would be Jan. 18 in the City of Angels against the Los Angeles Clippers. Rather than slowly bring him along, Steve Kerr wasted no time in showing arguably his best hand, inserting Boogie into the starting lineup from the jump.
There was rust to shake off at both ends of the floor, but overall he played well with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists before fouling out in just 15 minutes. The Warriors would go on to win by 18 in the start of a new era, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the modern era.