But Perth will always hold a special place in Cotton’s heart after reinvigorating his love of the game, and he wants to help the Wildcats win another title. “Of course. If the opportunity presents itself (to return to the NBA), I’d be on the first thing there,” Cotton said. “But you can only control what’s in front of you. “Perth did a lot for me, emotionally as well. It helped me bring back my love for the game. “Sometimes when you play overseas and you’re far away from home, it can be tough on you mentally. “But once I came to Australia, I fell in love with the game all over again. “Considering this team has had a history of winning championships … I just want to do my part, because I know I’m playing for something that’s bigger than myself.”
Longley likes to keep his private life opaque. Asked about his non-basketball work, he said gently, “I’ve got my own affairs.” His second wife, Anna Gare, is a chef on Australian food TV. They live in the town of Denmark, a five-hour drive from Perth—the kind of place you go when you want to be away from crowds. Longley has good relationships with Ben Simmons, Thon Maker, and Joe Ingles, all of whom he coached. Some of the younger FIBA players he was coaching in Melbourne this week were only vaguely aware he won three NBA titles. “You’ve got to remind these blokes, because most of ’em weren’t even around,” he said.
Australian MP Tim Watts stood up in parliament to explain why it’s an “outrage” that 76ers rookie Ben Simmons, who was born in Melbourne, still isn’t an NBA All-Star. Watts rattles off stats, including how Simmons has five triple-doubles, then says, “Frankly, no one with two brain cells to rub together would want Goran Dragic on their team over Ben.”
Do you see yourself coaching back here in Australia at the club or National Team level? Andrew Bogut: Who knows, I couldn’t tell you right now honestly. The NBL could be a possibility, National Team – the local junior competition. I’ll be in a position where I don’t have to do anything for money, so I can kind of do what I enjoy doing most.