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Who picked Cotton?

BRYCE Cotton tonight became only the third Perth Wildcat to win the NBL Most Valuable Player award when he trumped favourite Demitrius Conger at the annual awards presentation at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne.

Only Paul Rogers in 2000 and Kevin Lisch in 2012 have previously won the top individual honour at Perth which has prided itself on team success - best reflected by its record eight championship trophies.

Illawarra import Conger was almost a prohibitive favourite pre-count but finished with 94 votes, a long way behind Cotton's 117, 2016-17 MVP Jerome Randle next on 79 after a late start with Sydney Kings.

Perth captain Damian Martin won Best Defensive Player for a record sixth time, breaking his tie with that other Defensive Man with the same initials, Darnell Mee, who won it on five occasions.

All tonight's winners:Coach of the Year: Dean Vickerman (Melbourne United)Referee of the Year: Michael Aylen

Best Sixth Man: Ramone Moore (Adelaide 36ers)

Most Improved Player: Shea Ili (NZ Breakers)

Rookie of the Year: Isaac Humphries (Sydney Kings)

Best Defensive Player: Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats)

All Star Five (First Team): Casper Ware (Melbourne), Bryce Cotton (Perth), Demitrius Conger (Illawarra), Daniel Johnson (Adelaide), Josh Boone (Melbourne).

All Star Five (Second Team): Jerome Randle (Sydney), Edgar Sosa (NZ), Mitch Creek (Adelaide), Jean Pierre Tokoto (Perth), Tai Welsey (Melbourne).

NBL Fans MVP: Mitch Creek (Adelaide 36ers)

Most Valuable Player: Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats)

BASKETBALL Australia also chimed in to the evening, inducting Brett Maher (Adelaide 36ers), Glen Saville (Illawarra/Wollongong Hawks, Sydney Kings) and Tony Ronaldson (Eastside Spectres, South East Melbourne Magic, Victoria Titans, Perth Wildcats, New Zealand Breakers) into its Hall of Fame.


All thoroughly deserving recipients, championship-winners and Olympians, Ronaldson's record of 665 games (featuring 430 wins for a phenomenal 64.7 per cent success rate) is unlikely to ever be caught or surpassed.

Good work too by BA in recognising its own "basketball royalty" on its induction committee, misspelling Rachael Sporn AND Bob Elphinston in its press release today:

A right royal FU?

At least BA got its inductees right, Maher one of the sport's more under-rated combo guards despite winning three NBL championships and two Larry Sengstock Medals amid his club record 525 games.

Saville was a super athlete and captain of the Hawks' only championship team, amassing 563 games. The game is poorer for their departures and greater for their overdue recognition.

TOMORROW: History of the Melbourne-New Zealand rivalry ahead of their semi final

Feb 27

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