Hungry Jack's NBL
Frazier on Championship Mission with Perth
Perth Wildcats fans can expect to see new signing Michael Frazier spend plenty of court time alongside Bryce Cotton and Vic Law in #NBL22 but what will endear him immediately to the Red Army is his mission upon heading down under.
The first thing any player immediately realises upon arrival at the Wildcats is the winning history and culture of the club. The club has won a record 10 NBL championships including six over the last 12 years on top of having reached the playoffs a remarkable 35 straight seasons.
So that was the first thing that Frazier learned about the Wildcats when contact was made about him making his debut visit to Australia but it's something that he is anything but daunted by.
Rather than being worried about the challenge of helping Perth keep that playoff streak alive and attempting to help the Wildcats win an 11th NBL championship, that's what his mission is.
Frazier arrives with the potential of being a superstar with an impressive all-round game where he can be a shooter, creator and facilitator, strong defender and is versatile enough to play the one, two and three positions.
That will see him fit alongside dual MVP winner Cotton perfectly and also Mitch Norton and Todd Blanchfield throughout those positions, but it's not individual numbers or glory that that 27-year-old Florida native is coming to Perth worrying about.
He might very well put up some dazzling numbers as the season progresses, but ultimately all he cares about is helping the Wildcats win a championship.
He has a strong history of winning including helping Team USA win gold at the FIBA World U19 Championships and more recently winning a G-League championship with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers during which time he also played 13 NBA games for the Houston Rockets.
Frazier has grown accustomed to winning in his basketball career and that's exactly his mission as he embarks on his NBL career.
"I'm very excited about it. Obviously with the winning history and culture that I'm stepping into is something that's very important to me as a winner myself," Frazier said.
"I've been fortunate enough to be on winning teams throughout my career and to compete at the highest level, and learn from some of the greatest minds in basketball that we've seen.
"To be able to continue to go on that type of journey is something that's very special to me and I'm looking forward to being in a Perth Wildcats uniform."
The Wildcats completed their roster under new coach Scott Morrison on Friday with not only the announcement of signing Frazier but also of Australian centre Matt Hodgson.
The 'Cats have three imports with Frazier, Cotton and Law to go with centres Hodgson and Majok Majok, experienced guards Norton and Kevin White, swingman Todd Blanchfield, exciting young gun Luke Travers, six-time champion Jesse Wagstaff and versatile shooter Jack Purchase.
Frazier is excited about the prospect of what the squad he is joining will be capable of as the era begins beyond five-time championship winning coach Trevor Gleeson, and teaming up with Cotton is enough to already have him pumped for what lies ahead.
"Obviously our leader is Bryce Cotton who has been the MVP of the league and has won championship so he knows what it takes to win. I'm eager to learn alongside and behind him, and to learn from coach Scott," Frazier said.
"I just want to try and win another championship for the city of Perth, that's really the end goal. Every organisation that I step into and become part of, I want to bring some of my winning expertise so that's what I intend to do here with this organisation.
"Obviously with the guys that we have on the roster I think we can definitely compete for that championship as part of an organisation that has a history of doing that.
"Nobody is beating around the bush about what the expectation and my mentality from day one will be to do whatever coach asks of me, to play to the best of my ability and play for my teammates.
"I know that the organisation is big on chemistry and I pride on myself as someone who can be multi-faceted and do whatever my team helps to win a game and be successful. That's kind of my mindset coming into this season."
While more known as a two guard who can step up and play in the three spot, Frazier is no stranger to being a ball handler too so he'll be more than happy to fill a variety of roles at the Wildcats even though his history of hitting 11 threes for the Florida Gators conjures up Jermaine Beal memories.
Moreover, Frazier is just happy to play whatever role will help the Wildcats have the best chance of winning and that's all he is worried about.
"Actually growing up in high school I actually played the point guard position so that's no problem for me and over most of my career professionally I have been a two/three," Frazier said.
"I can guard all of those positions, I can play all of them offensively and whatever coach asks me to do I'm going to do it and do it to the best of my ability to try and get a championship. From an early age I understood that if you're on a winning team then the individual success will come.
"That's something I've prided myself on throughout on my career and it's something that I was fortunate to learn at a young age where I don’t think a lot of people are as fortunate to learn that. It's helped me up to this point and I don’t intend to change anything.
"I want to continue to learn and be a sponge, and get better and I think that I can still improve as a player. Obviously I want to win a lot more championship before my career's over with and the way I see it is why not start with one this season with the Perth Wildcats."
New Wildcats coach Morrison has already experienced being on the end of Frazier achieving success going back to the U19 World Championships so the fact that his new signing is a winner was a big factor in bringing him on board.
"When Danny (Mills) was looking for the next player to sign I was hoping he would go for the best player available and I think that's what we've got with Michael," Morrison said.
"The way that we're going to play will mean there'll be lots of opportunities for all our strong perimeter players to go out there and show their strengths. Having someone like Michael who can fit in with a guy like Bryce but also be a go-to guy himself is a big plus for us.
"Plus he is a standout on the defensive end which is important for us as we want to be a versatile team. I've witnessed firsthand him winning previously, I was in Prague in 2013 when he put us out of the competition in the quarter finals when I was with Team Canada.
"Ever since then I know he's been continuing on with that success and I'm quite confident he's going to help us get over the hump as well."