HoopsHype.com Interviews

Brian Cook: "My game isn't one-dimensional"
by Morris O'Kelly / July 7, 2003

You got your first taste of NBA basketball. What did you notice about it so far?

Brian Cook: It definitely was much faster. Everything just moved more quickly. And definitely more physical.

You’re coming to a Laker team that desperately needs help at the power forward position. What would you like to bring to the table?

BC: I hope I can be effective on the offensive end and also show more of my defensive skills.

What would you like to improve upon with these Summer Pro League games?

BC: Defense, defense, defense.

The obvious question would be, how has the transition been from college to pro?

BC: It’s too early to tell. Our Summer Pro League team has only had one practice together, so it’s hard to get a good idea.

What did you work on in the one practice?

BC: The triangle (offense), over and over again.

How is that coming along?

BC: It’s a real difficult offense to learn. You don’t understand that until you have to play within it. It’s going to take a while to get used to it.

Both you and fellow draft pick Luke Walton are conceivably vying for the same spot at power forward, what is that like?

BC: Our games are real different and we probably won’t be asked to do the same things. It’ll work out.

After your first Summer Pro League game, what would you say about the Laker prospects so far?

BC: There’s a lot of good talent here. People don’t care if you were drafted or not. Everybody is hungry and trying to make it in the league. Everybody plays hard.

Do you think you’ll have a good chance at starting when the season begins?

BC: That’s so far away. I have so much to learn about the offense, the team and the league. I just want to improve as a player. The rest will take care of itself.

You were an offensive-minded player at Illinois. Do you believe you’ll have to change your game somewhat since you won’t be the focal point here?

BC: It’s like I said, I’ve got to improve defensively. If I take care of business defensively, the offense will take care of itself.

What would you say to those people who think you’re not physical enough inside?

BC: I’d say wait and see. My game isn’t one-dimensional. At Illinois I played the way my team needed me to play. I’ll play the way my team needs me to play now.

What do you think is your biggest challenge in transitioning from college to the NBA?

BC: Being able to play well every night. You’re playing the best of the best every single night and in a long season you have to be ready to meet that challenge every night.

Morris O'Kelly is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com