Social-media users were left scratching their heads over an image of New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins taking an apparent private flight to somewhere other than his team’s playoff-opening win in Portland, Oregon.
The weekend intrigue extended beyond the Pelicans fan base — reaching into even the Mojave Desert — when the caption on the Instagram photo referenced the popular music festival Coachella.
Cousins was in fact relocating to a new house in Las Vegas, a source told Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated on Monday. Cousins had been rehabilitating in Los Angeles after a season-ending Achilles injury he suffered in late January.
Adding to the confusion, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said before Saturday’s Game 1 win that Cousins had not been cleared to fly and would not be in attendance.
“We would love for him to be here because he’s been an integral part of this,” Gentry said, according to The Times-Picayune. “I feel really bad for him because he’s been great for us.”
Cousins is hoping to join the Pelicans at one of their games this postseason, but it will be tough with his rehab, the source told Spears.
Cousins and Anthony Davis were on pace to become the first teammates ever to each average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game for a season when Cousins went down Jan. 26.
Davis has carried the Pelicans in Cousins’ absence, including Saturday.
But it wasn’t a game Cousins missed — he said on a nine-second Instagram video he was “tuned in.”