Miami Heat Top Pick Norris Cole Prepares for Possible NBA Lockout
Norris Cole was introduced as a member of the Miami Heat at a press conference on Monday.
The former Cleveland State standout was acquired by the Heat in a draft day trade.
Cole was originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 28th pick in the first-round of Thursday's NBA draft.
Then he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who then sent Cole to the Heat for the rights to guard Bojan Bogdanovic, a second-round pick in 2014 and cash.
Cole sported a new look as he shaved off his flat top hair style that he wore during his senior season with the Vikings.
"I am just coming in to get better," said Cole, who will wear jersey number 30 with the Heat, the same number he wore at CSU. "[When] I come in, I am going to work. When we get into practice, I am going to compete. If coach feels that I should start then I'll be ready to start. If not, I am content on playing my role on this team."
Cole also said that "he liked the Heat" despite Cleveland fans cheering against LeBron James since he left the Cavaliers for the Heat as a free agent last summer.
"They know it wasn't really my choice anyway," Cole said with a smile. "Some people didn't like the fact I was cheering for them, but they're happy for me and my success. Some people have bad comments to say about LeBron, but I ignore them."
Cole said he was watching the draft at his parents' house in Dayton with about 80 family members and friends when he got a call from his agent.
"When everyone heard my name called it went crazy in the house," said Cole. "The house started shaking. So it was a great feeling."
Since then, Cole said "it has been very crazy."
"I had to turn my phone off on draft night," said Cole, who had over 100 messages. "My phone got jammed up because I couldn't take all those messages. It was an exciting time to be able to represent my family, represent Dayton and represent Cleveland State."
"We feel very good about his skill set and what he can bring to our team," said Heat president Pat Riley. "He has parroted all the words that we like to hear from a young player: 'hard work,' 'just getting better,' and 'coming to play every single day.' We can't wait to get started working with him."
Cole will participate in a three-day mini-camp with the Heat and 11 other NBA prospects starting Tuesday.
With the NBA's current collective bargaining agreement expiring on June 30 and a lockout looming, Cole said he plans on spending the summer working out between his hometown of Dayton, Cleveland and Indianapolis.
"(I plan on working out) with (former Butler standout) Shelvin Mack and my trainer Sedric Toney," said Cole. "I am going to make sure I get better, I am not going to be laying around at home. I am going to be in the gym working."
Jackson update: Former CSU standout Cedric Jackson has been invited to the Charlotte Bobcats mini-camp. Jackson has also participated in a free agent work out with the Denver Nuggets last week.
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