Warriors

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.

Warriors have third-hardest schedule in NBA after All-Star break

Warriors have third-hardest schedule in NBA after All-Star break

Wins haven't been easy to come by for the Warriors this season. It looks like it won't be any easier for Golden State after the All-Star break either. 

Odds Shark's Joe Osborne look at the remaining strength of schedule for all 30 NBA teams, and it doesn't look good for the Dubs. The Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies are the only two teams with harder schedules the rest of the way. 

The Warriors, at 12-43, have the worst record in the NBA. They lost just 49 regular-season games combined the last two seasons, but this is a much different team. Kevin Durant is gone. Steph Curry has only played four games. And Klay Thompson likely won't play at all this season as he rehabs a torn ACL. 

That doesn't even include the departure of veterans Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. 

There's a silver lining to this season full of losses, though. The Warriors have lost four straight games and are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks for the worst record in the NBA. This only increases their chances of landing a top pick in the draft. 

[RELATED: Kerr laughs off Warriors' ugly season with funny tweet]

Though this year's draft is considered far worse than 2021, a top-5 draft pick always is a great asset. Golden State could use it in a trade or select a top prospect like center James Wiseman, guard Anthony Edwards, guard LaMelo Ball or big man Deni Avdija. 

The Warriors still are in the business of wins and refuse to acknowledge the "T word." But they clearly look like they're on the path to a top draft pick, and that only can help them reload for another championship run next season.

Steve Kerr uses Twitter to laugh at Warriors' season of adversity

Steve Kerr uses Twitter to laugh at Warriors' season of adversity

Steve Kerr lost 39 regular-season games over his first three seasons as the Warriors' head coach. This season alone they have 43 losses before the NBA All-Star break. 

Even with the departure of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson rehabbing his torn ACL, nobody saw Golden State falling this far in their first season at Chase Center. Two college basketball coaching legends are in the same boat as Kerr this season. 

Roy Williams and Muffet McGraw are not used to losing. So when McGraw tweeted out a picture of herself and Williams on Monday, she hilariously tagged Kerr to be a part of their support group for former champions. 

Kerr had the perfect response. 

McGraw, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2017, is in her 33rd season as the head coach for Notre Dame's women's basketball team. She's a two-time national champion, and the Fighting Irish entered the season with 16 losses in their last five seasons combined. 

They're 10-16 this season entering Tuesday. 

Williams, who was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2007, is a three-time national champion who also is experiencing a season he certainly isn't used to. The young North Carolina Tar Heels also are 10-16 this season. They sit last in the ACC and are just 3-12 in conference play.

[RELATED: Steph was pumped after Giannis' All-Star block on LeBron]

And then there's Kerr. The Warriors have the worst record in the NBA right now at 12-43. Kerr's star, Steph Curry, has only played four games this season after breaking his hand on Oct. 30. Golden State has more G League players than star players on the court as they look to reload next season. 

For such a disappointing season, Kerr seems to always have the right response with the perfect amount of humor.