Honorary Warriors For Life? Vote on Kent Bazemore and Quinn Cook
Relax, this is just for reminiscing.
Honorary Warriors For Life
The concept is simple. There are some players who are not in the Warriors organization, but Warriors fans will still pull for anyway (as long as no Warriors interests are at stake). So they are not a part of Dub Nation, but they still are welcomed into Dub Nation. This is very often because they are former Warriors players, but not always.
More details are included in our master list of all those voted Honorary Warriors For Life so far. More details are included in our master list of all those voted Honorary Warriors For Life so far. In short, getting >75% support achieves Honorary Warrior For Life; >50% support of voters who know them achieves Honorary Warrior.
I usually try to pair an old-time Warrior with a recent Warrior, but Bazemore is the rare case that fits both categories.
Bazemore was a hard-working, undrafted bench player in his first stint with the Warriors, but he worked hard…
and celebrated hard…
and he was a pivotal figure in convincing Stephen Curry from ditching Nike to go to Under Armour which immediately set up Nike’s PR team to pressure the sports media world to de-value Curry (and his rival shoes).
Bazemore was traded in Feb 2014 to LAL for Steve Blake, in the desperately pathetic pre-Shaun-Livingston days where the Warriors could not find a decent backup point guard for Steph.
He worked his way into a big contract with Atlanta, and then came back on a minimum to help Steph out and also showcase himself for his next contract.
Duby wrote in our season review of Bazemore:
If Kent Bazemore is a glue guy, then it’s a messy sort of glue.
The Warriors have clearly missed stable vets like David West, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston, and though Bazemore’s hand may be a bit shakier, he was a steadying force for Golden State last year. Perhaps a bit too eager, he racked up 158 fouls while playing about 20 minutes per game, and turned the ball over too often.
His role with the team is murky. Bazemore signed a one-year deal last offseason, taking a hefty pay cut in order to play alongside Stephen Curry and return to a Warriors franchise that first gave him a shot in the NBA after plucking the undrafted rookie off their Summer League roster back in 2012.
So I understand why some folks would have short patience with his mistakes.
But here’s the ugly truth: Bazemore was pretty darn good last season. Not just within the context of what the Warriors needed, either; just straight up good. Remember that he was the player leaned on to cover the roster gap when Oubre and Damion Lee and Jordan Poole were all out for various reasons.
It wasn’t just his career-best 40.1% shooting from beyond the arc, Bazemore does a lot of little things, from his energy and hustle, to his defensive chops. We mentioned above that defense is tough to quantify, but the two box score stats of blocks and steals weigh heavily in his favor. Though he only averaged a half a block, and one steal per game, those values are in the 90th- and 97th-percentile when it comes to percent of plays.
He did surprise everyone by leaving GSW for LAL, refusing a GSW contract offer with more years. I guess he thought he’d get more minutes and a better chance at a ring.
He was undrafted and bounced around the league and G-League for a couple years, before the Warriors gave him a two-way contract in 2017.
He stepped in as a steady backup point guard who could hit open threes and contributed to the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Dynasty Warriors.
He was a confidant of Kevin Durant, a friend from youth, but KD’s departure ended up causing the Warriors to withdraw the qualifying offer to Cook as part of the 2019 salary purge required to make the sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell work (which eventually led to Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga).
Since then, he’s drifted out of the league, playing a minor role on the 2020 Disney Cup champion Lakers and then getting cut.
You can vote by Twitter or by comment (which counts as ten Twitter votes) on these two specific questions:
Dub Nation, imagine you see Kent Bazemore in a game with no practical implications for the Warriors. (So not against GSW, ignore draft picks, playoff seeding, etc.) Do you want them to do well or poorly?
Don’t Know Them
Dub Nation, imagine you see Quinn Cook in a game with no practical implications for the Warriors. (So not against GSW, ignore draft picks, playoff seeding, etc.) Do you want them to do well or poorly?
Don’t Know Them
(You are welcome to opine about whether they should be Honorary Warriors / Villains For Life, but I am going to only count votes about whether you want them to do well or poorly or don’t care.)
No for both, Baze is a 🐍 extra negative points for being an anti-vaxxer.
I like both guys and wish them well. In at least one definition of Warriors for Life, that apparently qualifies.
That said, I wouldn't consider either guy a Warrior for life by my own internal sense of what that would mean. Cook just never did enough to be a Warrior for life. And Bazemore might have qualified for me, but this last episode really stung. It's not just that he went to another team. It's that he turned down more money and years to play for the Lakers, saying that he wanted to play for a championship. That was just a bit too much for me. Why not say you've loved your time in the Bay but have a chance to compete for a starting job in LA? I could have lived with that. But the way he did it felt like a dis -- like your ex- leaving you for another guy and explaining why by saying that she just really wanted to be in a relationship that had a chance to lead to marriage. You'd feel like she was never serious about you -- and that's bound to leave a bad taste.