Lance Stephenson says he knows firsthand how hard DeMarcus Cousins was working prior to his devastating ACL injury ... telling TMZ Sports he feels bad for Boogie, but knows he'll be back!!
Cousins injured his knee while playing in Vegas earlier this week after attempting a routine layup. He's expected to miss the entire season.
Lance -- who says he had been working out with DeMarcus this offseason -- says Cousins was in great shape and ready to make a huge impact in his first year with the Lakers.
"I know it's tough on him, that's my brother," Lance says. "I know he worked so hard this summer, I was working out with him in Las Vegas. I know he was very prepared for this season. It's just sad that he got hurt again."
Despite Cousins' 3rd leg injury in 3 years, Lance says he knows Boogie will eventually get back to 100% and do his thing on the court again.
We also talked to Lance about hooping in China ... and he says he's "very excited" for the new gig, but knows it's gonna be an adjustment from the NBA.