Last season, Quinn Cook was the backup point guard on a champion-contending Golden State Warriors team, with averages of 6.9 points in 14.3 minutes per game. This season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Cook has averaged a career-low 10.8 minutes per game and has appeared in just 38 of the 62 games he’s been available for.
Considering the team’s last two signings — Dion Waiters and J.R Smith — are guards, it’s unlikely that Cook’s minutes will go up in the postseason in spite of his experience. You won’t hear any complaining from Cook, though.
In an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Cook talked about the team-first mentality the Lakers’ locker room has bought into this season, and why it’s been so easy for them to buy into it:
And everybody has helped this year in some form, and we’re definitely going to need that in Orlando. We really can go one through 15 (on the roster). That’s what makes this team so special. Everybody is all into winning. We have the superstars, we have guys who have won that understand the team concept. We have a team where a guy can go 1 for 8 (shooting) but if the team wins, everybody is happy. Our coaches find ways to build us up and make us feel important, and so do our leaders.
That environment has led to a season without locker room drama for the Lakers, which is a stark contrast to how things were in LeBron James’ first season in Los Angeles. However, that environment has only been made possible through veteran players like Cook, who know the types of sacrifices that have to be made in order for a team to win a championship.
Cook might not play a ton of minutes in the postseason or in the final eight games of the regular season, but he’s still a valuable piece of the roster because of his experience on the NBA’s biggest stage — a stage he was on just last year. Anything he provides beyond just being a “glue guy” is a plus at this point.