April 23, 2014

Norris Cole Goes Off in Second Career Contest

From the bowels of The Wolstein Center to the bright lights near Biscayne Bay, former Cleveland State University guard Norris Cole has already made a name for himself within the National Basketball Association.  Cole, the 28th overall selection in the most recent NBA Draft and former bodily foundation for a killer high-top fade, provided his team, the Miami Heat, with 20 points off of the bench in a crucial seven-point win over the Boston Celtics, a win that took his team to 2-0 in the very young 2011-12 season.

Benefiting largely from a hot hand and being surrounded by three future Hall of Famers trading against a zone defense, Cole provided the Heat with 14 fourth-quarter points (nine of which came in the final three minutes), several of which came in crucial moments, helping his employer avoid what would have been a huge collapse against an Eastern Conference rival. Cole has always been a viable weapon, on and off of the court; a high school Salutatorian, four-year collegiate athlete and graduate, and once the owner of a 40-point, 20-rebound, nine-assist night. But on a team that isn’t exactly rife with point guard prowess, settling for re-signing Mario Chalmers and providing a jersey to something called a Mike Bibby, it is wildly enlightening to see a local product not only have a solid rookie effort this early in his career, but one that has helped his team win and put his name on the map in an even larger font.

Certainly, anyone in the state of Ohio (and even Horizon League rivals outside of it) were aware of Cole’s swagger and skill set. Heat coach Eric Spoelstra used adjectives like “mature” and “pure,” discussing how his rookie point guard is all about the team.  When his team had a 10-point lead following one of his jumpers, it would let that lead dwindle to three points before he was able to stop the bleeding, once again via the jump shot; Cole was 5-of-6 between 16 and 23 feet, the best mark of any player on this floor, on this night.

Even if he doesn’t have another 20-point night for the remainder of his stay within the league, Cole has already made a name for himself with one of the best teams in the league. And for one night, Cole received “MVP” chants from the few thousand fans within his home arena. Thats more than anyone could have imagined just two games into what is hopefully a very long and very successful career.

Somewhere, Gary Waters is smiling proudly.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • Andrew

    “…something called a Mike Bibby…” well done

  • 216in614

    Why doesn’t he bring that the high-top fade??? That thing was awesome.

  • Shamrock

    Just commented on Norris in previous story. Chalmers looked terrible especially in the second half. May not be long before the ex-Viking is playing alongside all of your favorite player.

  • oribiasi

    Too bad we didn’t grab him, too.

  • http://www.mrrlaw.com tsm

    “surrounded by three hall of famers”…..Bosh may be an all star, but in no way resembles a hall of famer. I was also impressed by Cole, and suspect many teams that passed on him will regret it. I just hope he doesn’t put “the whore” over the top in his bid for a ring.

  • Max

    in the ultimate irony, LeBron needs someone from Cleveland to help him in the 4th quarter.

    All jokes aside, you said “being surrounded by three future Hall of Famers”

    who am I missing? #6 and Dwayne Wayne I get but who is the third? Or was that a reference to the Celtics zone defense that I misread? (even still, Garnett yes, Pierce probably, Ray Allen? I don’t think so. Doesn’t mean I’m right, its just, like, an opinion, man)

    So I’m just curious. And bored. No work gets done in the week between Christmas and New Years

  • Chip

    tss tss, yeah I bet Norris didn’t get any good presents for Christmas cuz he was bad or sumpthin’ tss

  • DonFelder

    Bosh a future hall of famer? Not in this lifetime.

  • DonFelder

    It is cool to see Norris succeed early on. If he becomes a solid NBA player, it will help put CSU on the map and improve the program/Coach Waters’s recruiting pull.

  • Jay

    “something called a Mike Bibby” – yet another laugh out loud moment that has people in the office look at me like I have 3 heads.

    Happy that a local product is flourishing in what looks like the beginning of a bright career. Just wish it was with any other team!

  • The Other Tim

    Dear Kyrie Irving,
    Please play well tonight. We picked you first overall.

  • masonjarjar

    Good for Norris. No matter what you think of the Heat or LeBron James, if that rookie performance in the 2nd game of his career didn’t at least move the NBA fan in you, then you have a cold, cold heart.

  • Baclap

    The ultimate irony is right. I thought the same thing.

    @The Other Tim
    Give him time. He’s young and this season isn’t going anywhere.

  • ben

    The Browns should have drafted him to play quarterback!

  • Porkchop xpress

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if Bosh maintains pace he’s going to end his career with around 25,000 points over 10,000 rebounds and a couple of titles. Point is his numbers are going to get him in even if he doesn’t look or smell like an HOFer right now.

  • The Other Tim

    @baclap. You’re right. I shouldn’t expect the same thing out of the VERY FIRST PICK in the draft as Miami is getting with the 28th.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “Point is his numbers are going to get him in even if he doesn’t look or smell like an HOFer right now”

    I don’t like him as much as the next Clevelander, but yeah – I can’t believe this even had to be said. Save for catastrophic injury, Bosh will be there, like it or not.

  • Max

    but Scott, he amassed most of those numbers as the “guy” in Toronto…now that he is #3 at best, I doubt he will have even one full season that matches the average of his best 3 in TOR (would be 23.08 pts and 10.45 reb) in Miami.

    In fact, let’s say for the next 7 years he averages those numbers, and plays all 82 games every year (which he’s never done before). 7* 82* 23.08 = 13,247.92 (call it 13248) points and 5998.3 rebounds. Add that to his pre-2011 season totals, and we have 25,083 points and 11,433 rebounds.

    If we take his 1st year Miami average over that same 7 years, we end up with 22,469 points and 10,199 rebounds

    Next time I see a 34 year old 15 year NBA vet averaging 18 and 8 for an entire season, I’ll perhaps change my tune. Karl Malone is about the only one I can think of.

    His numbers will decline, both due to age and his surrounding teammates being leaps and bounds better than those in Toronto. There are a handful of 20k point scorers not in the hall (many of them because they split time with the ABA, I concede that point). However, I don’t see him maintaining those numbers long enough, nor do I see him having enough of those “transcendant playoff moments” to say that he is a “future hall of famer”

    He’s got a chance to write those chapters for sure, but I just think there’s a big hill left for him to climb.

  • oribiasi

    @ ben: Couldn’t be any worse than what we have currently.

    I take that back, it could be worse. If this organization is good at anything, its being prophetically bad.

  • Porkchop xpress

    max I’m not saying I’d beat down the doors of the Hall if Bosh didn’t get in but a player of his talent level who gets into the 25k ballpark is probably going to walk into the Hall. In this generation he is the definition of the “stretch 4″ that everyone including the Cavs have been trying to find. I don’t think James Worthy scored more than 18k and he’s in because his overall talent and sacrifices to other stars is recognized. Very similar players in my book

    I totally get where you are coming from but barring major injury, drug use, or sex change I’d put him at least at 75% chance of getting in.

  • Matt

    “Cole provided the Heat with 14 fourth-quarter points (nine of which came in the final three minutes), several of which came in crucial moments,”

    Perhaps Cole could work with LeBron on the finer nuances of closing-out a ball game.

  • crowsfoot

    Norris Cole is a man ! He was the steal of last year’s draft. He carried CSU on his back for his last two years there, and played like a warrior night in and night out. I hate to root against him now, but that’s what being a Cavs fan is all about.