The NBA Summer Leagues: Brian Cook

It is the summer, and there is not any basketball on television. I cannot make the trips to shoe camps, and watching pick up basketball with a collection of overweight twenty-somethings at the YMCA is not a basketball fix. What is a basketball fan to do during the summer? Watch NBA Summer League games on NBA TV and see the NBA's stars of tomorrow. <br><br> watched two days of Summer League and in this update provide a focus into how former Illini Brian Cook is performing.

Former Illinois stand out Brian Cook has returned to Los Angeles for the Southern California Pro League. The games started on Saturday, and Brian is playing with the rest of the young Lakers including Luke Walton, Kareem Rush, and Sasha Vujacic.

The joys of numerous different cable channels and the proliferation of the Internet across sports has made it much easier for NBA fans to get their basketball fix year round. Since this is, I will mainly look at how Brian Cook is playing in this his second summer as an NBA player.

In Saturday's Lakers win over the San Antonio Spurs, Brian did not play that much because he picked up quick fouls. The major difference between summer league games and regular games is that no one can foul out, but if you commit a foul after your sixth foul the opposition automatically gets two shots and the ball. Despite knowing that, Brian tried his hardest to foul out Saturday. He committed six fouls in less than eight minutes and was pretty much ineffective. He was playing so poorly that Laker's Summer League Head Coach Brian Shaw showed Brian the bench for the entire second half.

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The full box score of Saturday's game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers is available on

On Sunday evening, Brian Cook again took the court for the Los Angeles Lakers summer team, and again he saw very limited playing time. In the playing time he did see, Brian was pretty inneffective.

I am pretty sure based on comments from Mychael Thompson and Joel Meyers (the Lakers' Radio Broadcast team) during the telecast that the Laker coaches wanted to look more at players not guaranteed to be in the camp, and new draft pick Sasha Vujacic. It makes sense, especially because the Lakers' coaches (in this case Brian Shaw) already know what to expect from the veteran players on the Summer League team like Kareem Rush, Brian Cook, and Luke Walton.

In Brian's brief time on the court he did show a few things, but he most stayed inside and was defending the Knicks' Michael Sweetney. The one thing the commentators did mention is that Brian has been working to give his jump shot a little more arc, and that Rudy T was looking to Brian for some solid contributions heading into next season at the power forward position.

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  • Devin Harris: Devin Harris is playing with the Dallas Mavericks, and right now he looks to be stepping right in. The Mavericks are pretty much only playing with Devin and Josh Howard as players that will be contributors for the team next season. It is disappointing that their 7-footer from Russia is not playing on the team because I would have liked to see something from Pavel.
  • Trevor Ariza: In just two games, the wing forward out of UCLA looks to be a steal for the Knicks. With Isaiah making it known he wants to get more athleticism inside Madison Aquare Garden, Ariza could make some key contributions for the real Knicks as the season progresses.
  • Shaun Livingson: He is not playing with the Clippers' Summer League team. With the Clipper Front Office putting everything towards signing Kobe Bryant, Livingston has yet to sign a contract. He is also having surgery to have warts removed from his feet. I am a bit disappointed because I wanted to see how Livingston would adjust to the quicker paced game. Also disappointing from the Clippers is that neither Chris Kaman or Chris Wilcox played, so their biggest names were former Maryland stars Brandon Mouton and Terrance Morris.

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