How could we forget about Brian Cook?
While many Wizards fans have already deleted him from their memories, we here at Wiz of Awes have not.
Tommy Glasgow took the time to re-live the “Brian Cook experience” one more time with me.
Oh, Brian Cook.
I never thought Brian Cook was a good NBA player and I never thought he would help the Wizards when he was acquired at the trade deadline. In fact, I thought there was a really good chance that he would receive a buyout upon his arrival to D.C.
Make no mistake about it, he was not productive for the Wizards, but for some reason, Brian Cook became one of my favorite terrible players in professional sports.
Whether he was going coast-to-coast in a real NBA game or shooting line-drive shots from behind the three-point line that closely resembled a dart being thrown, he was entertaining. And for those few productive moments — as well the funny moments — I have to give Brian Cook a C- grade for his 16 game stint with the Wizards.
Cook wasn’t in Ernie Grunfeld’s long-term “plan” when he acquired him from the Clippers at the deadline; he was merely a throw-in to match salaries. And as a free agent this summer, Cook will try to find an NBA home elsewhere — because it won’t come in Washington. Whether or not he signs somewhere, I don’t know. But I hope we haven’t seen the last of the experience that is Brian Cook.
A complete afterthought in the Nene deal, Brian Cook wasn’t asked to do much this year for the Wizards. The ideal scenario would be if Cook were to come in, stretch the floor a little bit with his three-ball, grab some rebounds and not be too much of a liability with his post defense. Perhaps in his excitement over getting minutes with the Wiz, Brian Cook was a little too trigger-happy with his line drive shot when he got here. That and he often got abused out of position in the paint when he tried to post up. But it’s hard to hate on Brian. This is a veteran guy who had played most of his career on the other side of the country and had the option of taking a buy out to hopefully play elsewhere. Instead he opted to embrace the opportunity to get some playing time on a bottom dweller and hang out with his pal Mo Evans a lot.
Speaking of Evans, he’s a good representation of perhaps what Ernie Grunfeld thought he was getting in Brian Cook. Maybe he’d be a “veteran presence” or “finesse player” or hopefully just a “glue guy.” Cook was just kind of… there. He was like 50% of what vets like Mason, Evans and Singleton were. Brian Cook would hit timely shots (like the win over the Bulls), but never the sort of back-breakers Roger Mason was capable of making. On the other side of the spectrum: Brian Cook would get beat on defense, but never in the irreversibly terrible way that McGee did. Off the court, Cook was never praised for his mentoring work with the young guys the way James Singleton was, but he wasn’t a locker room cancer either. When four Wizards big-men were out with injuries, Cook helped out the best way he knew how: volume shooting no-arc jumpers. That’s his game and he’s sticking to it. We just needed a little bit more from him.
And since he was slightly below my already poor expectations, Brian Cook gets a D+ for his half season with the Wizards.