Norris Gene Cole II (born October 13, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who last played for Budućnost of ABA Liga and Euroleague. A 6'2" point guard, he is a two-time NBA champion, winning back to back titles in 2012 and 2013 with the Miami Heat in his first and second year in the NBA. In his seven NBA seasons, Cole made the playoffs all but once (2016).
Cole with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2018
|Born||October 13, 1988|
|Listed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school||Dunbar (Dayton, Ohio)|
|College||Cleveland State (2007–2011)|
|NBA draft||2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28th overall|
|Selected by the Chicago Bulls|
|2015–2016||New Orleans Pelicans|
|2016||Shandong Golden Stars|
|2017||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2017–2018||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
High school and college careerEdit
Cole was a star at Dunbar High School in Dayton, Ohio, leading his basketball team to consecutive state championships in his junior and senior years. He was a high school teammate of future NBA player Daequan Cook (The two later faced each other in the 2012 NBA Finals).
Cole was set to go to Walsh University on a football scholarship when Cleveland State basketball coach Gary Waters decided to recruit him. His numbers improved over the course of his college basketball career, which culminated in a senior year that saw him average 21.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game, highlighted by a 41-point, 20-rebound, 9-assist performance against Youngstown State.
Cole was recognized for his accomplishments by being the first person in the Horizon League's men's basketball history to be named both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, earning an AP All-America Honorable Mention, making the USBWA District V team, as well as the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 12 First Team. He was also a finalist for the Wooden Award and a "Final Five" finalist for the Bob Cousy Award.
Cole played 140 career games for Cleveland State, averaging 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 29.4 minutes per game. On February 6, 2016, Cole's No. 30 jersey was retired by Cleveland State during a pre-game ceremony.
Miami Heat (2011–2015)Edit
Cole was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft as the 28th pick out of Cleveland State, but in a series of draft night deals, his rights were subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who then dealt him to the Miami Heat.
Cole impressed both his coaches and teammates during training camp, including an impressive outing in the Heat's annual Red & Black Scrimmage, demonstrating poise, confidence, and blazing speed in a 21-point and 4 assist performance. After a solid preseason when he averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 assists, he impressed a nationwide audience in the Heat's home opener against the Boston Celtics by scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter (making many crucial shots in the closing minutes) to secure a Heat victory in the face of a Celtic's comeback attempt. Cole finished that game with a total of 20 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. He became the 4th fastest rookie in Heat franchise history to score at least 20 points in a game.
Cole was originally left out of the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge, but due to the rising stardom of Jeremy Lin, who was added late to the group, Cole was selected as the 20th rookie in order to even out the competition. He tallied 18 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals in the game.
Cole finished the 2011–2012 season averaging 6.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assist on 39% shooting, serving as the team's backup point guard behind Mario Chalmers. He made two big 3-pointers in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals which would spark a comeback run. Cole won his first championship in his rookie season after the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1.
Cole played in 80 games in the 2012–2013 season, including 4 starts, and averaged 5.6 points and 2.1 assists. In the playoffs, Cole averaged 6 points a game, including two straight 18-point games against the Chicago Bulls in games 2 and 3 of their second-round series. He would be ejected from Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals by referee Ken Mauer after a shoving match with Indiana Pacers forward Jeff Pendergraph, who was also ejected late in the fourth quarter during a 26-point Miami Heat lead. Miami would advance to the Finals, Cole's second trip. Miami pushed the San Antonio Spurs to 7 games and won the title for Cole's second championship.
In the 2013–2014 season, Cole played in all 82 games and started in six games, averaging 6.4 points and 3 assists per game. In the playoffs, Cole scored 13 points in game 4 of the Heat's first round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats, and would not score in double figures again until Miami's crucial game 2 victory against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, posting 11 points with two three-point baskets. Miami defeated Indiana 4 games to 2 to advance to their fourth straight Finals and Cole's third. The Heat would once again face the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, but Miami would lose the series in five games. Cole was the only Heat player who had a contract going through the 2014-15 NBA season.
On October 29, 2014, Cole started his first time opening night game and subsequently scored a career-high 23 points in the 107–95 win over the Washington Wizards. In 47 games played and started 23 games with Heat in 2014–15 regular season, Cole averaged 6.3 points, 3.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, .9 steals, playing 24.4 minutes per game before being traded.
New Orleans Pelicans (2015–2016)Edit
On February 19, 2015, Cole was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-team trade involving the Phoenix Suns. Two days later, he made his debut for the Pelicans against his former team, the Miami Heat. In just under 30 minutes off the bench, he recorded 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in a 105–91 win. Cole became a replacement for the injured Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans made the playoffs but were swept in their first round match-up against the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors. In the 2014-15 NBA playoffs Cole averaged 8.8 points, 1.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 26.5 minutes per game; in 28 games played during the regular season (with the Pelicans), he averaged 9.9 points, 3.2 assists, 1.8 rebounds, with 44.4% shooting and 37.8% three-point shooting on 24.4 Minutes per game.
In June 2015, the Pelicans tendered a $3.03 million qualifying offer to make Cole a restricted free agent. On September 17, 2015, Cole re-signed with the Pelicans, accepting the one-year, $3.03 million qualifying offer. On December 1, Cole played his first game of the 2015–16 season after missing the Pelicans' first 17 games with a left ankle injury. In just under 23 minutes of action off the bench, he scored 11 points in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, as the Pelicans dropped to a 4–14 win/loss record to start the season. On January 2, 2016, he recorded his second career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in a 105–98 win over the Dallas Mavericks. On February 6, he scored a career-high 26 points in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the 45 games he played with the Pelicans during the 2015–16 season, Cole started 23 games, finishing with averages of 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, .8 steals, playing 26.6 minutes per game. Cole missed his first and only NBA playoff appearance with the Pelicans in the 2015–16 season.
Shandong Golden Stars (2016)Edit
On October 5, 2016, Cole signed with Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association. On November 30, 2016, he was released by Shandong. In 9 games played for Shandong, Cole averaged career high 19.1 points per game, 2.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.6 steals per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2017)Edit
Maccabi Tel Aviv (2017–2018)Edit
On August 15, 2017, Cole signed a one-year deal with the Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv of the EuroLeague. On November 30, 2017, Cole recorded a season-high 26 points, shooting 4-of-6 from three-point range, along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists in an 81–74 win over Žalgiris.
Cole helped Maccabi win the 2018 Israeli League Championship, winning his third career title. In 28 EuroLeague games played during the 2017–18 season, Cole averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Sidigas Avellino (2018)Edit
On August 17, 2018, Cole signed with Italian basketball team Sidigas Avellino for the 2018–19 LBA season. On October 7, 2018, Cole made his debut with Avellino in 98–81 win over Red October Cantù, recording 21 points, three rebounds and a career-high 13 assists. Two days later, Cole recorded a career-high 34 points, along with 5 rebounds and 7 assists in a 100–93 win over Nizhny Novgorod. He was subsequently named Champions League Gameday 1 MVP. On October 23, 2018, Cole recorded 33 points, shooting 7-of-13 from 3-point range, along with eight rebounds and nine assists in a 105–102 overtime win over Anwil Włocławek. He was subsequently named Champions League Gameday 3 MVP. In 19 games played for Avellino, Cole averaged 16.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and a career-high 6.2 assists.
On December 21, 2018, Cole joined the Montenegrin team Budućnost Podgorica of the ABA League and the EuroLeague, signing for the rest of the season. On December 28, 2018, Cole made his debut in an 88–93 loss to Bayern Munich, recording 27 points and six assists off the bench. In 15 Euroleague games played and 12 games started, he averaged 16.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 26.6 minutes per game.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Cole won an NBA championship|
|2016–17||Shandong Golden Stars||CBA||9||27.5||.412||.286||.769||2.5||4.3||1.6||.0||19.1|
|2017–18||Maccabi Tel Aviv||IPL||32||22.9||.418||.231||.791||2.1||3.5||1.1||.1||11.8|
Cole was a member of the National Honor Society and served as the salutatorian of his high school senior class. He earned a bachelor's degree in health sciences from Cleveland State.
- "Former teammates Norris Cole and Daequan Cook square off in NBA Finals". SunSentinel. June 17, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- Gardner, Tim (February 12, 2011). "Performance of the year? Cleveland State's Norris Cole has a big day". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- "Norris Cole Named To Two All-District Teams". CSUVikings.com. March 11, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES FINAL FIVE CANDIDATES FOR THE BOB COUSY AWARD". Bob Cousy Award. March 10, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
- "30 Norris Cole". NBA.com. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance". waitingfornextyear.com. February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- "Jeremy Lin added to Rising Stars game". ESPN.com. February 7, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Norris Cole, Jeff Pendergraph, Flo Rida's manager ejected from Game 7". SI.com. June 4, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Heat open new era, top Wizards 107-95 in opener". NBA.com. October 29, 2014. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Pelicans Complete Three-Team Trade with Miami, Phoenix". NBA.com. February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Pelicans lose Davis and Anderson, roll past Heat 105-91". NBA.com. February 21, 2015. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- "Sources: Pelicans will extend qualifying offers to Norris Cole and Jeff Withey, shedding light on the team's likely plans in free agency". TheAdvocate.com. June 29, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Pelicans Re-Sign Norris Cole". NBA.com. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Gasol's 38 points lead Grizzlies past Pelicans 113-104". NBA.com. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- "Davis gets double-double help from Cole as Pelicans top Mavs". NBA.com. January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- "Irving, James lead Cavaliers past Pelicans 99-84". NBA.com. February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- Walder, Chris (October 5, 2016). "Norris Cole signs with China's Shandong Golden Stars". TheScore.com. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "CBA's Shandong has officially released Norris Cole". Twitter.com. November 30, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
- "Thunder Signs Norris Cole". NBA.com. March 1, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- "Maccabi signs former NBA champ Cole". EuroLeague.net. August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv vs. Zalgiris Kaunas - Game". EuroLeague.net. November 30, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- "Avellino signs Norris Cole". Sportando.basketball. August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
- "Sidigas Avellino - Red October Cantù 98-81". legabasket.it (in Italian). October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- "Sidigas Avellino's Cole scoops Gameday 1 MVP honor". championsleague.basketball. October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
- "Humble and hungry Norris Cole claims MVP honor again". championsleague.basketball. October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- "Norris Cole, Avellino officially part ways". Sportando.basketball. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- "Norris Cole signs with Buducnost". EuroHoops.net. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- "Buducnost VOLI signs Norris Cole". Sportando.basketball. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- "FC Bayern Munich vs. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica". EuroLeague.net. December 28, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- "#30 Norris Cole". CSUVikings.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter