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.
Sources with knowledge of the situation suggest that the NBL are set to announce a new & exciting partnership with the NBA. The opportunity will consist of the NBL staging an exposure camp for potential imports in Las Vegas during the 2014 NBA Summer League. It is understood that every NBL team will attend the camp, sending along their coaches along with two players each. This is an exciting step forward for the NBL in establishing closer ties with the NBA & shows just how far the league has come under the new administration.
NBL Canada’s London Lighting have hired former NBA player Michael Ray Richardson as the teams first-ever Head Coach. Ray Richardson was drafted fourth-overall by the New York Knicks in the 1978 NBA Draft and was touted as the next Walt Frazier. The Boston Celtics drafted Larry Bird two spots after him with the #6 pick. In only his second-year with the Knicks Ray Richardson became the first player to lead the NBA in both assists (10.1) and steals (3.2) setting Knicks franchise records in both categories. Ray Richardson played 8 years in the NBA mostly with the Knicks, a short stint with the Golden State Warrior and 1983 and eventually becoming an Eastern Conference All-Star in 1984.