The University of Nebraska’s football team’s recent defeat, 59-24, at home to Michigan State in the 2016 Big Ten Championship game is one that they will want to forget in a hurry.  At the time of writing, the Huskers are currently 12th in the nation, but losing to a team they have never beaten in their history in the conference championship means that they will almost certainly miss the College Football Playoff. When I was at Nebraska, I was the team’s sports information director, and I remember how upset the players were after the game.  They had been looking forward to playing in the national title game since last year, and they ended up being left out of the playoff instead, and so they had to feel like

The Philadelphia 76ers are in a position to make some history this year. They have assembled a roster that includes a lot of potential All-Stars and is coached by a coach that could be considered one of the best ever. As if that wasn’t enough, they have an owner who has been so committed to improving the franchise that he is willing to spend a lot of money to build a new arena. If the 76ers do it this year they would be the first team to go from having the worst record in the league in one season to winning the trophy in the next. They would also be the first team to do so since the Lakers won back to back championships in 2000 and 2001.

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In no sport have many athletes taken the elevator from the apartment to the basement as quickly as Los Angeles Clippers reserve DeMarcus Cousins. Just over three years ago, Cousins was in MVP talks while having the best year of his career with the New Orleans Pelicans. But the max contract he was supposed to get in the summer of 2018 (and make no mistake, he was going to get it) evaporated as quickly as a torn Achilles tendon in a game in late January of that year.

Cousins, nicknamed Boogie, is still in the NBA, and is on one of the Final Four teams. Still, his effort for the Clippers in the big Game 5 victory surprised many. Even though it has been three difficult years for DeMarcus Cousins, he is keeping the faith.

DeMarcus Cousins is an example of an athlete walking the tightrope between glory and obscurity


DeMarcus Cousins, a native of Mobile, Alabama, was the next big thing. In 2009, he placed third in his high school band and in the fall joined a freshman band at the University of Kentucky. In addition to Cousins, the Wildcats have contracted two top-20 recruits in John Wall and Daniel Orton and two top-100 players in Eric Bledsoe and John Hood.

Kentucky failed to become national champions and lost to West Virginia in the Elite Eight, and Cousins, Wall, Bledsoe and Orton left for the NBA.

Six full seasons and part of the seventh, Cousins was the face of the Sacramento Kings team. Cousins is a talented and fickle player who has become an NBA All-Star. But with less than two years left on his contract, the Kings traded Cousins to the Pelicans. In his first full season in New Orleans, Cousins seemed doomed to make the playoffs for the first time.

But this story did not turn out as Cousins had planned.

Cousins must prove his worth for Clippers

DeMarcus Cousins of the Los Angeles Clippers performs a slam dunk for Jay Crowder of the Phoenix Suns during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

DeMarcus Cousins joined the Los Angeles Clippers on a 10-day contract in early April after playing 25 games in a disappointing Houston Rockets lineup. In just over three years, he went from All-NBA to a 10-day process. It really is a speed lift.

The Clippers signed Cousins for the rest of the season, but rarely used him in the playoffs. This made it difficult for him to maintain his confidence, The Undefeated reported.

Brother, I don’t even know how I got here. I’m blessed to know this. I just take it day by day. I work every day. That’s really all I can do. I really don’t know how I got here. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real, because I know I shouldn’t be here.

My body was going through hell. I’m working like crazy. But no asshole gave me a chance. But I just have to enjoy it. I can still get my ass kicked. It’s just a story, a story, a story. I can’t beat him.

DeMarcus Cousins

In Game 5 against the Suns in the Western Conference Finals, the Clippers were without Ivica Zubac due to a sprained knee. Their other big man, Serge Ibaka, is already out for the season with back problems.

DeMarcus Cousins, who had only a slim chance, gave it his all.

DeMarcus Cousins helped LA win Game 5


Against the Suns, Cousins played 13 minutes and scored 11 points in the first game. However, he played just four minutes in Game 3, didn’t play at all in Game 3, and played just four seconds in Game 4 for the Clippers.

Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue opted for a small lineup with Marcus Morris as a midfielder. But Cousins got 11 minutes and took advantage of it. He scored 15 points and helped the Clippers score even though the starters lost the game, and the Clippers brought the series back to Staples Center and won it by 14. Paul George did most of the work, but Cousins also played a big part.

You gave me a chance. And it was clearly not what I thought it should be for me. But the situation is what it is. I have accepted this and can only continue to improve, which I have done. And I’ve done this before. So my confidence will never waver.

Winning the championship would be the ultimate redemption. It would be a middle finger to everyone. And you know where I’ll wear the ring.

DeMarcus Cousins

The Clippers still have a lot of work to do to get that ring, including a comeback after a 3-1 defeat to Phoenix. But DeMarcus Cousins has had a lot of problems in recent years.

Statistics provided by Basketball Reference.

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