Bryce Cotton arrived to revive the Perth Wildcats season and not only did he do that, he delivered another championship with 45 points in the 95-86 Swisse NBL Grand Final Game 3 win over the Illawarra Hawks on Sunday. The Wildcats returned to Perth Arena trying to sweep the best-of-five series over the Hawks with 13,611 fans cheering them on, and appeared set to cruise to that task after scoring the opening 12 points.
Having already impressed in stints in the NBA with the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, you couldn’t blame Cotton for thinking he had to take the chance because who knows if one would come again. However, Cotton was enjoying himself in Perth and didn’t want to let the club down so he turned down the NBA chance, recommitted himself to the Wildcats and now is a big reason why they are one game from the NBL championship. If the Wildcats can beat the Illawarra Hawks on Sunday at Perth Arena, the title will be theirs and Cotton will feel more than justified in the call he made. “Any time you make a decision you don’t look back or wonder what if, but I weighed my options and I think I did what’s best for me,” Cotton told NBL Media.
Perth Wildcats star Bryce Cotton has committed to remaining with the club for the rest of the season after a rejecting a 10-day contract from the Atlanta Hawks. Cotton was given the chance to spend a short time in the NBA but with the NBL season reaching the business end, will remain in Perth.
Philadelphia 76ers’ coach Brett Brown believes NBL Executive Director Larry Kestelman’s plan for the Australian league’s teams to play preseason games against NBA sides would be welcomed ‘with open arms’ Down Under. “I think it makes complete sense,” Brown said in Brooklyn on Sunday. “The Australian basketball fraternity deserves it. I think they’re committed people; excellent coaches, a country that’s extremely passionate about basketball. They would certainly welcome them [NBA teams] with open arms, and treat them and manage the situation where Australia would be proud.”
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Kestelman confirmed his ambitious proposal for the NBL to take on the NBA’s best was well advanced. His goal is for teams like Sydney and Melbourne to play pre-season matches against some of the NBA’s biggest franchises. “We are having dialogue with the NBA and I won’t rest until we see the Sydney Kings playing the Warriors or the Chicago Bulls,” Kestelman said.