Former Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole enjoyed a solid tenure with the team after entering the NBA in 2011.
Cole, who is now 33 years old and has not played in the NBA since 2017, was a mainstay for the Heat during their Big 3 era. As a result, Cole has two NBA titles to his name.
However, it doesn’t seem as though that past success is enough for Cole. He recently made it clear that he believes he still has what it takes to compete at the NBA level today.
“I still have the ability,” Cole said via the Associated Press. “God has still blessed me with the ability. I still have the fire, the hunger and I still feel like I have something to prove, things that I would like to accomplish as a player. That feeling of winning a championship, the mission, the goal, the work to try to get to that point again, that’s what drives me as a competitor. And I want that feeling again.”
It’s not surprising to hear that a competitor like Cole believes that he still has the skills to play in the NBA, but the unfortunate reality is likely that the league has simply passed him by.
The last time he was even a partial starter in the league was during the 2015-16 season with the New Orleans Pelicans. He started 23 of his 45 games and averaged 10.6 points, 3.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.
His most recent NBA action came in the 2016-17 season in which he played in 13 games, with all of his appearances coming in a backup role.
However, it’s not as if that was the last time Cole played at the professional level. He’s been a mainstay in international basketball since then, and he has played in leagues in China, Italy, Israel, France and Spain.
It’s great to see that Cole’s drive to rekindle his NBA dreams remains undeterred. Though it’s possible that he does end up getting a shot from some team around the league, that coming to pass seems rather unlikely.
Perhaps he’ll be able to turn his passion for the game of basketball and the NBA into a coaching career. That may be his best shot at getting back into the league at this point.