Bobcats Sign Free Agent Point Guard Omar Cook
August 3, 2004
“Omar has the innate qualities of a point guard," said Bickerstaff. "He has good ball-handling skills and a good body, plus a good understanding of the game. You need your point guard to understand plays and when they are developing and the options. The reads have to be instinctive and he has those instincts.”
Cook joined the Bobcats as a member of the team’s entry for the 2004 Reebok Rocky Mountain Revue. He tied for the league lead with 5.0 assists and placed third with 2.0 steals. Cook started the final five games of the tournament and averaged 3.7 points and 22.3 minutes.
The 6-1, 190-pound point guard finished the 2003-04 NBA season with Portland. He signed a 10-day contract on February 3, 2004 and gained a second 10-day contract with the Blazers, before he signed a multi-year contract on February 27. In 17 appearances with Portland, he averaged 0.8 points, 1.4 assists and 0.6 steals in 8.2 minutes.
Cook was called up to the Blazers from the Fayetteville Patriots of the National Basketball Development League, where he played for current Bobcats Assistant Coach Jeff Capel. He appeared in 24 games in 2003-04 and paced the NBDL with 9.0 assists and 2.6 steals, along with 10.2 points.
On January 31, Cook dished out a league season-high 14 assists against Roanoke. His 215 assists through 24 games put him on pace to shatter the NBDL single-season record for assists (306), held by Cook. In three seasons with Fayetteville, Cook was named to the All-NBDL Second Team in 2002 and 2004 and was selected All-NBDL Honorable Mention in 2003. He also holds the NBDL record with 19 assists in a game on February 8, 2002 against Charleston.
Cook was selected by Orlando in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft. On draft night, he was traded by Orlando to Denver, but was waived by the Nuggets prior to the season.