Austin Rivers

Quinn Cook, Austin Rivers agree that Cleveland is worst NBA road city

Quinn Cook, Austin Rivers agree that Cleveland is worst NBA road city

The verdict is in. Cleveland doesn't rock.

In fact, Cleveland sucks, according to Warriors guard Quinn Cook and Rockets guard Austin Rivers.

Why?

"My family is there, they're calling me all the time, it's muggy and it's cold," Cook told Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke and Rivers on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' podcast.

Cook's first professional contract actually came with the Cavs. After he went undrafted out of Duke in 2015, Cleveland signed him to a contract in September of that year. A month later, they waived him.

Why does Rivers hate Cleveland?

"It's just always freezing there," Rivers said. "And if you're there a day in between, which teams don't even do anymore, like you guys are staying here [in Houston] right now so you guys don't have to go to OKC for two days. There's nothing to do. What do you do?"

[RELATED: Rivers on how Curry transformed NBA]

Cook may not like the city of Cleveland, but his greatest professional accomplishment occurred there last June when he won an NBA championship with the Warriors.

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.

Warriors' Quinn Cook explains why he never doubted his NBA potential

Warriors' Quinn Cook explains why he never doubted his NBA potential

Quinn Cook's path to the NBA was not direct, but the Warriors guard said he never stopped believing in himself. 

The Duke product went undrafted after winning a National Championship with the Blue Devils in 2015. He was a part of four different NBA organizations (Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks) before signing a two-way contract with the Warriors in 2017.

But Cook said he got by with a little help from his friends. College teammate Austin Rivers watched him in the G League, and so did LeBron James after a training camp together in Cleveland. 

"That doesn't happen, and those guys kept my confidence [up]," Cook told Rivers and Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' Podcast. "I knew the work I put in. And growing up, I always had confidence in myself. I was a McDonald's All-American. I was All-American in college. I just had to take a different route, and I appreciated it."

Cook caught his big break with the Warriors last season. He played his way into coach Steve Kerr's rotation, and eventually a roster spot once Steph Curry was sidelined down the stretch with an injury. 

In his fourth NBA season, Cook averaged career-highs of 9.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. He hit the 20-point mark five times, and started 15 of the Warriors' final 16 regular-season games. 

Cook returned to the bench at the start of the playoffs, but still played 10 minutes a night for the eventual NBA champions. He made it, almost overnight, but said he was able to keep things in perspective. 

"[When] Steph went down and I started to score [a lot], I didn't act like this was new because I had been doing it my whole life," Cook continued. "That was just a great opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of, and everything happened for a reason. [Four] teams passed on me, but I got on the right team and I just want to keep building."

[RELATED: Austin Rivers explains how Steph transformed basketball]

Curry has played in 60 of the Warriors' 71 games this season, so Cook has only started eight times. His minutes and production are down, too, but Cook is scoring (16.3 points) and rebounding (5.6 rebounds) at the highest per-36 minute rates of his career. 

Not that he's surprised. 

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.

Austin Rivers explains how Steph Curry, Warriors transformed NBA offenses

Austin Rivers explains how Steph Curry, Warriors transformed NBA offenses

Austin Rivers knows a thing or two about defending Steph Curry.

The Houston Rockets guard isn't shy about his confidence when guarding the Warriors star, but that doesn't mean Rivers is unaware of Curry's impact on the NBA. To hear him tell it, Curry's transformed basketball as much as anyone in recent memory.

"Comparing him to other players, he's not the most athletic guy on the floor nine out of 10 times," Rivers told Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke and guard Quinn Cook on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' podcast. "But nine out of 10 times, he's usually the best player on the floor, and that's changed the game. Kids used to want to dunk, and now they want to shoot 3s.

"He's changed the way basketball is played. It's a [3-point shooter's] league now."

Rivers said that impact is clearest on his own team. Under Mike D'Antoni, the Rockets lead the NBA in 3-point attempts per game (44.8) and 3-point makes (15.7). 

He thinks you can draw a straight line between D'Antoni's strategy and what Curry and the Warriors have done over the last five years. 

"The effect that Steph has singlehandedly had on the NBA has been huge -- and Golden State, period," Rivers continued. "They've set this trend where now we follow. We shoot 40-to-50 threes a game because we're trying to emulate what works, and what they've had." 

[RELATED: Quinn Cook reveals how Coach K uses Beyonce to motivate Duke players]

They've also had a trickle-down effect, according to Rivers. When he's working basketball camps, he said kids want to emulate one of two players' specific skills: Curry's, or Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving's ball-handling. 

When 6-foot-3 Curry nails a half-court shot, or 6-foot-3 Irving crosses over a helpless defender, Rivers thinks a young player would see either as more attainable than what, say, 6-foot-8, 240-pound LeBron James can on a nightly basis.

"They're not going to be doing the stuff he does, so what's realistic for a person," Rivers asked, rhetorically. " ... They're not freak athletes. They don't dunk on people. They're just skilled. So, that's every kid's dream." 

Something tells us Rivers won't be dreaming of facing either Curry or Irving in the postseason. 

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.