Thoughts on Eric Gordon’s Return to the Hornets

Published: April 3, 2012

As I said on twitter a few days ago and many of us here at H247 have been speculating for a while, Eric Gordon will play at home against Denver on Wednesday evening.

It’s really happening. Eric Gordon, the man, the legend, the machine, will make his return.

I’m happy that the Hornets best player will return to action, and that we will hopefully get an extended look to better determine how Gordon fits with the current crop of players. While I find the talk of needing to see him in action to determine a proper contract complete hogwash, I do think that Demps and Williams will get invaluable tape of Gordon paired with with Jack, Vasquez, Aminu, Ariza, Ayon, Henry, Smith, and Thomas. Those are guys whose futures have yet to be definitively determined, and the way in which they play with Gordon, presumed to be the number one or number two for some time, will matter when the time comes for the team to decide if they fit.

I’m pumped to see, hopefully, what the lineup of Jack-Gordon-Ariza-Landry-Kaman can do. If they perform the way I expected them to all year, I’ll feel a lot better about my prediction that if the team stayed healthy they would have made the playoffs.

It’s also going to be nice to see some freaking jerseys in The Hive that aren’t Chris Paul or David West. I’ve talked to so many people who are waiting for Gordon to come back before buying a jersey, and I firmly believe that we’ll see a huge spike in Gordon jersey sightings shortly. It’s always nice when a plan comes together!

Perhaps most, I’m excited to see if I like watching Gordon play. I’ll be honest with you– I’m spoiled. Chris Paul spoiled me. By the end of his time here, I was just flat out excited to stop watching pick-and-rolls, even though I knew that they were probably the prettiest pick and rolls I’d ever have the privilege of witnessing. If I can get sick of that, what am I going to think when I get a prolonged look at Gordon? The optimist in me is why I’m excited, by the way. I think I’ll love the way Gordon balls. If his first two games are any indication, I won’t be disappointed.


That’s a lie, this year at least. There’s really a good chance I’m going to be disappointed in how Gordon plays this year, assuming it’s well. I try and try and try to think of reasons why I’m happy he’s back, but my best of efforts are overshadowed by two simple facts—Eric Gordon is really good and the Hornets have much less to gain this year by winning than they do by losing.

We all know damn well that if he’d been healthy all season long, a lot of those close games would have been wins. We know with certainty that we wouldn’t be ending games with Jason Smith standing outside the three point line asking himself, “How the hell am I the guy who gets the rock in this situation? Quick, someone take it! Oh crap, nobody else is that guy either. This isn’t going to go well…”, before launching up a ball that Mugsy Bogues could have blocked.

Enter Eric Gordon. He’d curl and get the ball off a screen, take a step back, jab step forward to get some space, and then hit that sweet fade-away jumper that we all know he’s capable of making and confident in taking.

The temporary exuberance that I’ll undoubtedly feel when Gordon single-handedly changes the outcome of what should have been yet another disappointing loss will be short lived. The reality of earlier will still exist— the Hornets have much less to gain by winning than they do by losing.

The realization that for the first time in my life I truly and honestly don’t want the Hornets to win games is a weird feeling. I’m extremely apprehensive about the best player on the team returning for no reason other than that he might actually lead my favorite team in the history of professional sports to victory.

I’m going to take a few laps as punishment. When I’m done I’ll take a shot of cheap whiskey, slap myself in the face, and take a good look in the mirror.

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.


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