When Quinn Cook and LeBron James first became teammates in 2015, they were at drastically different points of their careers. In 2015, James was already a two-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP. Meanwhile, Cook was just trying to land a spot on an NBA roster after going undrafted.
Cook signed a training camp deal with the Cavaliers, but he was waived three days before the start of the regular season. Three years later, Cook and James faced off in the 2018 NBA Finals. Now, Cook and James are teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Cook talked about his experience playing with James during a Q&A with fans organized by the NBA during his birthday on Monday:
Q: How has being able to play with LeBron helped your knowledge of the game? #NBATogether— NBA (@NBA) March 23, 2020
A: @QCook323 @KingJames pic.twitter.com/XiPeNVNugE
“Playing with LeBron has helped my knowledge of the game tremendously, on and off the floor. I was his rook when I was in Cleveland my rookie year, and he took me under his wing and he’s been my big brother ever since. Just to see how hard he prepares on and off the floor on an everyday basis, you can’t do nothing but learn from a guy like that, and to have one of my idols be a big brother is a dream come true... He’s the best teammate you could ask for.”
Cook also talked about what it means for him to don the purple and gold as someone that grew up rooting for the Lakers:
Q: #NBATogether Growing up following the Lakers, what does it mean for you to play for the Lakers organization?— NBA (@NBA) March 23, 2020
A: @QCook323 @Lakers pic.twitter.com/eaA4ca6IEe
“Growing up a big Lakers fan, and to actually now play for the Lakers, it’s a dream come true. It’s something that I always dreamed of my entire life. Being obsessed with the Lakers growing up, having all the jerseys, having all the gear and wearing it every day, and having pride in just being a Lakers fan, to actually play for the team now is just something that I can’t describe, to be a part of this great organization and this great team and just making my dream come true is something that I’m so proud of.”
Cook has had only appeared in 38 games for the Lakers this season — a pretty drastic fall off from the 52 games he played around this time last season — but he’s been pretty productive in his limited role. Cook’s real value will come in the postseason, where has experience playing minutes at the backup point guard position. Rajon Rondo has experience at the highest level, too, but Cook was in a Finals series just last season — Rondo hasn’t been in a Finals series in a decade. Plus, they have two different skill sets, as Cook is more of a shooter.
But regardless of how big of a role Cook will play in the postseason (whenever it happens), statements like this show why he’ll always be a fan-favorite because of the love and respect he has for the team.
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