Kevin Durant Reveals Advice He Gave Lakers' Quinn Cook After Going Undrafted

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2020

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 15: Quinn Cook #4 speaks with Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors on January 15, 2019 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bart Young/Getty Images

Quinn Cook had a storied career at Duke, starting three of his four years and helping lead the Blue Devils to a 2015 national championship.

It wasn't enough for NBA teams, all of which passed on him in the 2015 draft. In the lowest moment of his basketball career, Cook leaned on Kevin Durant for guidance.

"[Cook] called me when he didn't get drafted, and he was crying," Durant said in the Showtime documentary Basketball County: In the Water. "And I'm like 'Bro, you've got talent. Just keep working.' He never stopped."

Basketball County follows the journeys of several players from Prince George's County in Maryland who went on to successful NBA careers, including Cook and Durant.

"KD has always been a big brother to me and someone that I reached out to for anything," Cook told Insider's Meredith Cash. "He's reached out to me just making sure I was OK. He's always been there for me."

Cook battled his way through a two-year stint in the G League before making his NBA debut in 2017. He bounced his way around from the Dallas Mavericks to the New Orleans Pelicans and back to the G League before carving out a role with the Warriors—with Durant as his teammate. Emerging as a solid bench contributor in Golden State, Cook and Durant won a championship together in 2018.

The Lakers signed Cook to a two-year, $6 million deal last summer. Currently, he is averaging 4.8 points and 1.1 assists in 38 games with the Lakers (10.8 minutes per game).

While Cook's NBA future appears to be at the fringes of a contender's rotation, his story is one of success and perseverance. Rather than cashing in on a potential overseas contract, Cook battled stateside to realize his NBA dream.


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