In 2015, Quinn Cook got his first shot at cracking an NBA roster with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately, Cook was waived just six games into the preseason, but he did form a relationship with LeBron James that would pay dividends for him down the line.
Earlier this month, Cook was renounced by the Golden State Warriors, the team that gave him his first full-time job in the NBA, and the team that he won a championship with just last year. After two promising seasons in Oakland, Cook was in a position to cash in on a meaningful contract for the first time in his young career. He also had the luxury of deciding where he wanted to play next after grinding for 10-day and partially guaranteed contracts in the seasons prior.
Cook seemingly had his sights set on Los Angeles, and his former teammate, James, did everything he could to make sure Cook got his wish. During a conference call on Thursday, Cook made it clear that both he and James wanted to reunite on the Lakers.
“(LeBron being here) played a big part because I know LeBron makes everybody better. He brings the best out of everybody, and I saw that in my time with him in Cleveland for a little bit. He made me such a better player in two months,” Cook said.
“To have a full season with him, I can only imagine the type of player I can be. Definitely that was a big thing. Obviously we have a great relationship. He called Rob [Pelinka] on my behalf,” Cook continued. “I’m happy that he believes in me and that he wanted me to be a part of this team. That meant a lot.”
That may seem like an awfully kind gesture for someone James only spent a few weeks with in the preseason several years ago, but according to Mark Medina of The Mercury News, James and Cook have kept in touch throughout the years. Cook also has a relationship with Davis:
Cook already had close relationships with James and Anthony Davis. Cook called Davis “a brother” after Cook played against each other in the 2011 McDonald’s All-American game and had a short stint together in New Orleans (2016-17). Cook called James “my vet” for two reasons. James, who is close with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, often attended Blue Devils games during his four-year run (2011-2015). Cook played on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ training camp roster in 2015. During Cook’s various stops in New Orleans (2016-17), Dallas (2016-7) and Golden State (2017-19), James stayed in touch.
“Any time over my career, he would make sure I was good, talking to me and giving me advice,” Cook said of James. “To have a guy like that in your corner who I can reach out to any time and gives me advice, it helps me at every stage of my career. It’s something I’ve never taken for granted. I’m looking forward to reuniting with him again.”
Cook will be battling for minutes at the point guard position with Rajon Rondo, who signed with the Lakers last season, and Alex Caruso, who’s been with the team for two seasons, but with the backing of James and Davis, he should be able to carve out a meaningful role in head coach Frank Vogel’s rotation. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s a career 41.8 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line, either.