Bryce Cotton career stats, NBL legacy, Perth Wildcats, breaking news, preview


For better or worse, the NBA is the standard by which professional basketball players are judged.

If you’re not in the NBA, most assume you’re not one of the top 450 basketball players in the world. However, this assumption can often be wrong. Bryce Cotton of the Perth Wildcats is a perfect example.

Cotton is entering his sixth season in the NBL after playing just 23 total NBA games. In reality, however, Cotton is arguably more talented than dozens of NBA players. Few players in the world possess his offensive sorcery level and ability to shoot.

New coach of the Tasmanian JackJumpers Scott Roth labeled cotton “the best player in the world who doesn’t play in the NBA” earlier this year.

In a separate interview, Roth, a former NBA player and NBA assistant coach with five different teams, said he was “shocked [Cotton] is not in the NBA ”.

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Bryce Cotton: The LeBron James of the NBL.Source: Getty Images

Cotton never stayed in the NBA for a variety of reasons unrelated to his talent. On the one hand, as a 6’0 ” shooting guard, Cotton is a delicate fit alongside established star players.
Additionally, after a four-year college career, Cotton entered the NBA as an older player. When it comes to evaluating prospects, NBA teams tend to prioritize potential over ready-made production. This philosophy makes it difficult for players like Cotton to step in the door.

Now 29, Cotton is unlikely to have another shot at playing in the NBA.

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Luckily for players in Cotton’s place, the NBA isn’t the only sports league in the world where professional basketball is played. As Cotton has shown, it is possible to have an even more memorable career outside of the NBA than you would have had in it.
Since joining the NBL in 2017, Cotton has not only proven his credentials as a player talented enough to become an NBA player, but has become a certified NBL legend.

His status in the NBL is such that Cotton doesn’t really think about the NBA anymore.

In an interview with ESPN earlier in the year, Cotton noted that he “doesn’t look over [his] shoulder as much as [he] used to”.

“If they want me, fine; otherwise I’m more than happy to be here, ”Cotton said.

Anyone who questions Cotton’s status as an all-time great NBL at this point is kidding themselves.

While it’s difficult to compare historical greatness across eras, an easy way to decipher a player’s greatness is to know how much he dominates his time.

In Cotton’s case, he’s arguably the greatest NBL player of his time.

In terms of raw numbers, no one from this era comes close to Cotton. Since his first game with the Wildcats, Cotton has scored 490 more points than any other player during that span, according to Spatial Jam. During that time, he also racked up the most steals, second-most threes, and third-most assists in the NBL.

This ridiculous production led to three MVPs, three championships and two final MVPs in just four and a half seasons.

This ridiculous production led to three MVPs, three championships and two final MVPs in just four and a half seasons.

It’s easy to attribute much of that dominance to the Wildcat dynasty, but Cotton is more than just part of Perth’s success. He has been the driving force behind the Wildcats’ success since his arrival.

It’s easy to attribute much of that dominance to the Wildcat dynasty, but Cotton is more than just part of Perth’s success. He has been the driving force behind the Wildcats’ success since his arrival.

Bryce Cotton of the wild cats.Source: Getty Images

During Cotton’s time with the Wildcats, Perth’s elite offensive production was the main reason for their success. In Cotton’s four full seasons in the NBL, Perth has ranked in the top two in offensive efficiency three times, finishing first on two occasions.

One of those top two spots is the 2019/20 NBL season, in which the Wildcats posted the highest offensive rating the NBL has seen since 1991.

Cotton is the main reason for this offensive domination. His impact on Perth’s offense is driven by more than just his well-documented score.

On the one hand, Cotton is also a great animator who improves with this aspect of his game over time. Cotton ranked third in assists per game last season, averaging 5.7 assists for just 1.7 turnovers per game.

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He also makes life considerably easier for his teammates with his mere presence on the pitch. No player contorts the opposing defense in the same way. Cotton’s simple threat forces minute-to-minute defensive adjustments – he lets defenses scramble, with his teammates then able to capitalize.

Opposing coaches have tried everything to try to slow Cotton down, but nothing has stuck so far.

During his stint as Sydney’s head coach, Will Weaver (now an assistant coach of the Houston Rockets) was so taken aback by Cotton in the 2020 final that he broke a ‘triangle and two’ defense. This defense is so obscure that many observers have never heard of it.

It didn’t work out either – Perth released this series, with Cotton taking home MVP honors from the Finals.

Having a player who contorts defenses like Cotton gives an offense a huge leg up on the competition. The advantage Cotton gives Perth is perhaps best reflected in the stats. For example, last season the Wildcats’ offense was an absurd 16.6 points per 100 possessions better with Cotton on the field than away.

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Perhaps the most mind-boggling part of Cotton’s contribution to Perth’s success, however, is his unprecedented clutch gene.

When the lights are brightest, Cotton always turns on. Whether it’s his historic 45-point performance in the 2017 NBL Finals or that extremely tough shot against the Breakers in April, Cotton always shows up when the Wildcats need him.

While it’s difficult to compare great players from different eras, one way to do it is to compare the accolades.

For Cotton, when it comes to the two biggest accolades given by the NBL – MVP and Championships – Cotton has three of each.

The only other players to have won three MVPs are Andrew Gaze and Leroy Loggins.

Of these two, only Loggins corresponds to Cotton’s championship production.

That’s right, not even Gaze can compete with Cotton’s combination of team success and individual domination to this day. If Cotton adds either another MVP or a Championship in the 2021/22 season starting Friday, he will be in uncharted territory.

Gaze is the undisputed GOAT of the NBL, but it’s now hard to argue that Cotton isn’t at least starting to step into Loggins / Gaze’s greatness territory.

Cotton’s level of dominance is so historic that many pundits and former NBL greats are beginning to recognize his greatness.

For example, NBL analyst and 2010 NBL MVP Corey ‘Homicide’ Williams repeatedly called Cotton “The biggest import to have ever done below”.

What’s scary for other NBL greats and Cotton’s contemporaries of this era is that he’s only getting better and better. With his development as a passer, last season was Cotton’s best in the NBL to date.

In addition, he was only 29 years old three months ago. Cotton’s best years may still be ahead of him.

As with LeBron James in the NBA, many old school observers probably won’t want to admit his true status among the greatest of all time just yet.

However, provided he stays in the NBL for at least a little longer, just like with LeBron in the NBA, Cotton’s volume of accomplishments and honors may be too hard to ignore, especially if he produces a brilliant 2021 season. / 22. .

With just days to go into the 2021/22 season, Australian basketball fans should feel lucky to have this league legend at the height of his powers in their backyard.



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