Hungry Jack's NBL
NBA on Cooks’ Agenda
Larry Sengstock Medallist Xavier Cooks says he will take any NBA opportunity that comes his way this off-season.
Cooks was a major piece to the Sydney Kings’ first championship in 17 years, as he averaged 19 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists in the 3-0 sweep of the Tasmania JackJumpers.
The 26-year-old is expected to receive NBA interest and could follow in the footsteps of last year’s Larry Sengstock Medallist, Jock Landale, who went from Melbourne United to the San Antonio Spurs.
“The NBA has been a massive dream for me since I was a little kid. So if that comes up, I’m gonna take that, but I mean, it’s gonna be tough to leave Sydney,” Cooks said via Fairfax.
“I’ve loved it here, everyone’s super friendly, everyone loves me, I love everybody, so it’s gonna be tough to leave. But it’s a business and we’ll see what happens, but I’m just trying to cherish this moment while we’re here right now.”
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Josh Giddey believes Cooks has the talent to play in the NBA, as he tweeted the Kings superstar “needs” to be in the association.
After the Grand Final victory, Sydney coach Chase Buford lauded Cooks’ leadership ability.
“He feels like he has an imposter syndrome as a leader, he's the frickin' leader of this team through and through,” Buford said via 7 News.
“From the get go, I felt like he's tried to shut that (down) and we've rallied around him the whole season.
“He's been our leader on offence, he's been our leader in defence, he's been our leader in huddles.
“It's special to see as a coach when guys grow into themselves as a person as much as a player, and we saw that in spades from this dude this year.
“It was apparent very early to the coaching staff and I think to the rest of the team that this was our leader and we followed him every step of the way.”