Living in Los Angeles, I saw Schea Cotton play in high school, then at Long Beach City College. The title of a new documentary about him — “manchild” — says it all. The only guy I can sort of compare it to is LeBron James, because Cotton was a high school player with an NBA body and athleticism already. He was one of the top prep players in the nation, a guy battling Baron Davis as the best high school player in Los Angeles at the time.
And Cotton never played a second in the NBA.
There’s a great story about Cotton now the Long Beach Press Telegram (by Frank Burleson, one of the smartest hoops writers around, period). About how the fact he was so much more athletic than everyone around him meant he never had to develop a steady jumper or the ball handling skills he would eventually need. In the NBA, everyone was a manchild in high school, to one degree or another. You have to have more, you have to develop skills.
Here is the trailer, featuring Davis, Paul Pierce, Ron Artest, Tyson Chandler and other NBA players of that era who remember what a beast Cotton was. This has the potential to be fascinating. (Hat tip to SLAM for finding this.)