I still remember where I was when I found out that LeBron James was joining forces with some of the other stars in the league to form a superteam in Los Angeles. I was in my apartment, sitting in front of the computer, because that’s where I’ve been for at least 90% of my life. Almost every momentous moment of world history that I’ve been alive for has happened while I was in front of a computer screen.
When I found out that LeBron was teaming up with superstars Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels, a pair of sharpshooters whose forces combined were unmatched by any other tandem of shooters to be found anywhere in the league, I poured one out for the Bucks because I knew that their championship window had closed, almost before it had opened. And when I say “poured one out”, it was actually just me chugging an entire 20 oz bottle of Sun Drop soda while crying, since I don’t drink alcohol.
Well, the Lakers for some reason gutted their big three by getting rid of Troy Daniels, but they still have a big two with the LeBron/Cook pairing. Cook’s contributions to the Lakers’ championship aspirations this season have been understated, but crucial. LeBron’s contributions, on the other hand, have been overstated but aren’t crucial at all. Make no mistake about it, folks, this is Cook’s team first and foremost. Remember when LeBron teamed up with Dwyane Wade in Miami? That was a while ago but you should still remember it. At that time, Miami was still Wade’s team. LeBron was nothing but a fleeting figure in Heat lore, a hired gun with no known allegiances. That’s how I’m looking at his tenure with the Lakers, as well.
Cook displayed his vital role on the team tonight, filling up the statsheet with a 21/1/0/0/0 line in just 23 minutes. I feel like Vogel should maybe be playing Cook just a little bit more, but the strategy is probably to save him for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the less important LeBron put up an anemic Tony-Snell-esque line of 31/8/7 in 35 minutes. Vogel is riding him hard to see if he can step up with Cook taking a smaller role. Smart move.