TrendBasket’s BCL Podcast has the champion point guard Omar Cook over for its fourth episode. San Pablo Burgos guard touched on a variety of topics.
The success and the secrets of San Pablo Burgos, along with the relationship between Alex Renfroe and Omar Cook, were widely discussed. The 37-year-old point guard also allowed us to pick his brain on topics like the bubble, future plans, his past.
Here are the highlights of our 35-minute long conversation:
After the season, I still had a contract with Gran Canaria. They change the coach, GM. They came to me 2-3 days after my contract was guaranteed, told me that they didn’t want me. When they decided they didn’t want me, my agent was calling around to figure out if anybody wanted to take me. Burgos came up. As an opposing player, I’d always come here to play against an amazing atmosphere. It’s their fifth year in the ACB. I saw the progress and that made me think about what my situation was. That’s why I come here.
Everywhere [Joan Penarroya’s] been, he’s had results. I was excited to have the chance to play for him. He’s one of the main reasons why I come here.
Playing against Alex [Renfroe], we were always so competitive. At first, it was a little difficult because we didn’t really know how to compete but keep it the same way as teammates. He sent me a text one day. We understood that we’re the leaders of the team; we’re the two oldest guys; we’re both point guards and the guys are gonna kinda follow us. We then started to get after it. He’s made me better; I made him better. We made the team better. … That text set the team off.
“We got two stars in fives”
Throughout my career, I’ve always been a starter. I’ve always wanted to play. It’s this natural reaction to always want to be on the floor. … This year, we actually want the best for each other. Whether it’s me or him, we don’t care; we just want to win. We have trust in each other. … We have something special here this year.
That’s our team: Someone else steps up every game. Every game, it’s someone different. You can’t say let’s stop that, let’s stop Beni, let’s stop Alex, let’s stop Omar Cook. The greatness of our team is that we got many weapons. We got two stars in fives.
It’s too hard to have a bubble now. The season is too long; the Final is in May. It’s impossible. Teams also have domestic leagues. … There’s no way to avoid the virus. It’s out there. A lot of people are gonna get it. That’s just the way the world is right now. Hopefully, within the next couple of months, we can get back to how it was before the virus.
My plan [after retirement] is to stay in basketball. My goal was to network these last few summers to figure out if there was some NBA opportunities. … No Summer League, the NBA Bubble, and things like that hindered my plans as far as networking. Most of the guys that are in management or are coaches are guys that I’ve played with or against. I just haven’t seen them in awhile. I just gotta network while finishing up my career.
“The better part of my career is happening now”
My brother wants to do a documentary about my career. That will be from my point of view. We’ve been talking about it; we’ve laid out some things. But I still had some chapters to write. I’m not done yet. It seems like the better part of my career is happening now towards the end. Still feel young, still feel good. I’m trying to win some more championships. [2019-20 BCL] was my first big one, it feels great. It drove me to win some more.
One thing that I can say was good for me is that the last team that cut me in the NBA was the Chicago Bulls. I was one of the first cuts, and this was my fifth or sixth time getting cut by an NBA team. I called my mom, and I was crying. I was like, I don’t want to play basketball anymore. I’m working too hard; I feel like I’m better than these guys, but I’m not getting an opportunity to show who I am. My agent said this team in Belgium wants you to go out there. I didn’t want to go to Europe; I knew nothing about European basketball. He [told me to] try it out. Then, I went to Mons, a very dark, tiny city. … In Mons, they loved the team. Before and after the games, you gotta talk to the fans. … And I haven’t left Europe.