One man’s take on Eric Gordon

By:
Published: July 8, 2012

Ryan Schwan talks Eric Gordon and his statements to the media.  He fully expects to be ripped apart in the comments.

Well the vitriol has been on full blast the past few days.  Eric Gordon is taking a shellacking on this site I haven’t seen since the days of Baron Davis and his forced exodus from the team.  Even then it wasn’t so bad, since our traffic has increased by a multiple of 10 or so.

I get the feeling.  I still dislike Baron Davis intensely.  He deserved the anger.

In a lot of ways, Eric deserves the anger he’s receiving too.  Some of it.  But let’s take a step back for a moment, guys.  Gordon, from his statements to Joe Gerrity and Jimmy Smith in that fascinating interview at the Olympics, has a trio of complaints.

  1. The Hornets haven’t called him directly.  At all.
  2. The Hornets haven’t filled that massive hole at center.
  3. The Hornets drafted someone similar to him.

Now consider his situation.  He didn’t ever choose the Hornets.  He was the centerpiece of a trade that sent him from a promising situation to a chaotic, league-owned one with the worst record in the West – something he’d been experiencing entirely too often over the past couple years.  Worse, he arrived at the team and immediately suffered an injury that kept him from playing.  There are few things as stressful as being in that kind of a situation with a new team.  He has no track record of past performance to point to, AND you also have to remember that his coach is Monty Williams.  There were rumors at the All-Star break that Williams was frustrated with Gordon’s lack of progress.  Do you think Williams didn’t communicate that frustration to Gordon via body language, or flat out by saying it?  When has Monty ever minced words?

I’ve felt stress at work when I wasn’t able to get things done – unrealistic deadlines, roadblocks that made projects stumble.  I handle them – but I can’t help but feel a little resentful towards those looking askance at me for failing.  I didn’t set those deadlines – or fail in the analysis.  It’s not my fault, damnit.

Eric didn’t injure his knee on purpose, damnit.

So why did he not get a call at 12:01 am July 1st from the Hornets telling him they wanted him as a centerpiece to his team?  Why did they only call his agent?  More strain on an already strained relationship.

Remember, Gordon is technically a free agent, restricted tag or not.  Do you know how teams get big fish on the hook in free agency?  They cater to them.  They greet them with 100 clapping employees.  They call the first second they can.  They hire Dwyane Wade to lobby for them.  This stuff does matter.

The Hornets didn’t.  They don’t have a Dwyane Wade to lobby for them either, they have a pair of unproven rookies, one of whom plays at Gordon’s position.  That has to sting.  These guys have egos.  Even the sleepy-eyed ones.

Think about your own situation at work.  If you were looking for a job and got a nice offer from a company that also wined and dined you.  Still, it’s a hassle to move, and your current job isn’t bad by any means.  So you go to your boss and say “Look.  I have this offer.  I’m going to take it.” and your boss responds by looking disinterested, shrugging and then later sending you an email that says “Whatever.  We’ll match that offer you got.”

Wouldn’t you be bothered by that?

Oh, and then you find out your own work has laid off a series of reliable co-workers – and replaced them with nothing.  In fact, they don’t even seem interested in filling those roles, so you’ll have to take on a heavier burden to succeed.

Meanwhile, that other company has gone out and is aggressively hiring.

You’d leave, right?  I’d leave.

Except Gordon can’t, because of his contract which says he can only leave if the Hornets allow it.  So what is his one option?  In his strategy sessions with his agent(those strategy sessions, I’m sure, in which his agent roundly curses the Hornets for not budging and being willing to pony up more cash) what is the one thing they possibly discussed that he could do that may make it possible to leave?

Make himself odious.

You see, this whole thing is about power.  Controlling your destiny.  Gordon is trying to do that.  He’s picked a particularly bad fan base to try it with since they just went through the whole Chris Paul thing, but I don’t blame him.  If he comes back to the Hornets, I’m not going to boo or hate him.  I’m not worried he’ll check out on the team.

I’m willing to give him a break.  I can see his side of things.  Are you willing?  Is he really deserving of this level of scorn?  He’s still possibly the best basketball talent on the market this summer.  That has to count for something too, right?

Sound off, people!

(McNamara, by the way, has a completely different take on this – including one of his ever-so-popular conspiracy theories.  Tune in the Podcast to hear all about it!)

78 comments
NOH Domination
NOH Domination

Do you think 2 weeks ago that Wahington would've taken Gordon for the #3 pick? Too late now, I'm so confused as to how I should think. One second I want the Hornets to match and bring him back and the next I feel we'd be better off without him.

Josh
Josh

If Gordon expresses true interest in staying here, I want him to stay. If he expresses true disinterest, trade him.

m-W
m-W

I'm with you, Ryan.

Bombay
Bombay

S&T Gordon to Orlando For Howard GET it Done..

J
J

In my opinion, he just doesn't want to be in N.O. and never has. These comments are just a way to put the blame on hornets managment rather than just say he doens't want to be a hornet. They traded for him and he only plays 9 games and with his injury history they still are going to give him a max deal and that's not showing they want him? Why wouldn't they get a guy who plays his position when chances are he'll miss games and they'll need a backup. Besides they didn't have many other options. He should be patient and give them a break much like everyone did for him while he was out

MichaelCRL
MichaelCRL

I know it is easy to read posts many sorts of ways...I assume many pro-Gordon people read the sarcastic posts in a way that sounds like people are screaming at their computer and angry. I really don't feel any attachment or emotion to him, but I can find his comments irritating. He sounds very entitled for such an injury prone young player. Hard working people are simply turned off by that... One quick response if I may to your question: "...your boss responds by looking disinterested, shrugging and then later sending you an email that says “Whatever. We’ll match that offer you got.” Wouldn’t you be bothered by that?" Answer: I wouldn't be offended if anyone agreed to pay me 58 million and a hefty percentage of their payroll. I might even feel "wanted."

John in MO
John in MO

We could just slightly alter the Peja heads to make them kinda look like Ryan, but if we match EG, that might hurt his feelings because it would be celebrating something done by anyone but him.

bergd531
bergd531

Off topic here but Hornets just got Ryan Anderson in sign & trade for Gustavo Ayon!!!

John in MO
John in MO

Anderson is a good get. He can stretch the floor more reliably than Belli. I wonder if he will come of the bench or if Monty has now changed plans and wants AD starting at the 5 from day one. If Anderson is coming off the bench, he can spell AD and Chief with slower lineups. Heck, with smaller line ups, he could even spell Smitty. As Shane pointed out, RA hits the boards. That will be welcomed. AS far as the price, I'd like to thank Gus for the hard work last season. I also would like to thank the folks we renounced. I understand some may still be back, but Belli gave it all to the Bees, even if he couldn't always be great, he worked hard. Landry loved NOLA. I will not forget that. And Kaman, despite his inefficient offense, took a difficult situation in NOLA and made it work. At times, he was great. I will root for you four wherever your careers take you. As for RA, welcome aboard.

Ron
Ron

The Hornets haven’t called him directly. At all. What's the usual way that NBA teams handle such players? Is the way that Dell is treating this played-only-14%-of-games player the norm or not?

Shane
Shane

I don't think so

Shane
Shane

Let's go Ryan Anderson! Sharp Shooter & a proven Rebounder. Hornets fans follow me on twitter @ShaneMettaLife. I will follow back & enjoy talking basketball

ignazio
ignazio

Ryan Anderson is coming via S&T

Mike
Mike

I don't blame Gordon. This is the worst fan base in the entire NBA. Who wants to play in front of empty chairs night in and out?

Robert
Robert

My favorite current player in the league is Kevin Garnet. Why? Because he wants to win more than anything, and he is loyal to the game. He was loyal to the Timberwolves to a fault, he lost many great years of his career to keep playing there, even when it was obvious they would never win. Finally, he takes less money than he could have elsewhere to play with the Celtics for a chance to win. I don't feel he places anything higher in his career than the chance to win with his team. Eric Gordon, by comparison, seems to be more concerned with his career and status than with winning. Sure, he want's to win, but is it more important to him than being recognized as a great player? When I watched the finals this year, and saw Kevin Garnet on the sidelines cheering on his teamates on the court with just as much vigor as if he was on the court himself at that moment, I saw in that what a truly great team player is. One who leaves his heart on the court with his teamates, no matter what. I would like to see players like that on the Hornets team (or whatever the name of the team will be in the future) and I think AD & Rivers may be a good start in that direction. I don't see any reason to think EG will be. He has let the difficulties of the business taint his attitude toward the game, whether those difficulties were his fault or not doesn't matter (it didn't for KG). What matters is what you do and how you present yourself, and so far EG has done little but show potential on the court, and presented himself in a rather immature manner. He's not a great player to build a franchise around.

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

If somehow you missed my thoughts on all of this-- I agree with a lot of what Ryan said, but I do think Gordon is expecting a little too much coddling considering the public statements the Hornets have made as well as the reality that they can match any offer.

Chuck
Chuck

Great post and I completely understand why he feels that way. But still, $58 million. So shut up, Eric Gordon.

Bombay
Bombay

Houston S&T would be way more lucrative...We get a ton of young talent to help building and save money for next year...

BeesFan
BeesFan

I think cooler heads will prevail in the situation. Once the Hornets match the offer which i think they should EG won't care where his heart is as long as his pockets are filled. Monty during the draft stated that EG was th best player on he team and he shouldn't be worried about Austin Rivers who i believe is the future point guard of this team so we don't have to re-sign J.Jack after next season and get that contract off the books and splurge on a big man in next year free agency cause this years there is no Centers jumping off the page in free agency this year. So let Jason Smith play center so he can log minutes and i hear the hornets are talking to (stimisa i know mispelled his name lol) from boston who played pretty good off the bench last season. This is a process and i we can't win a championship in 1 year so as a hornets fan we should put this EG situation behind us once they match and focus on what is best for the team and that envoles EG on the roster(my opinion) and let Dell and Monty do their Jobs and watch the hornets become a 1st class organzation and a powerhouse in the west in the next 3 years.

James McPherson
James McPherson

I wonder if perhaps Dell, Monty et al. don't WANT Gordon around, and this entire process is a method to extract assets instead of giving the max contract to a player that is a) entirely tradable (just see last year, as he was traded for CP), b) ascending, but not really there yet, c) a substantial injury risk, and d) perhaps not entirely committed to the team vision the Hornets have in mind. If there is a long, sad history for teams that misapply max contracts, this is THE ONE DECISION a team cannot get wrong. And frankly, I think there are enough concerns with Gordon and his health that it may be better to not assume the risk of giving one to him. Or, if they really wanted him ... he never would have hit the open market.

Maybe next year
Maybe next year

Agree partially, but as soon as he signed the offer he came out and said that he wanted to be in Phoenix. Maybe that is why the Hornets have not contacted him. Seems to me that he made the first move to try and leave.

Shantadiva
Shantadiva

I meant, "Gordon hasn't earned that kind of respect."

Shantadiva
Shantadiva

The one exception I would take to your story about you and your job as opposed to Gordon is that I presume you have earned the respect from your boss because of the great work you have done for him. Gordon has earned that kind of respect. To expect the Hornets to bow down and worship the ground he walks on is unrealistic. It is merited by the Suns because they are hoping to get a steal. I love your analysis, but I think Eric Freeman in Yahoo's "Ball Don't Lie" blog paints a more complete picture of the situation: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/eric-gordon-really-wants-play-phoenix-tries-scare-232339869--nba.html

LANative
LANative

The Hornets made him an offer in January which he refused. At that time I'm sure they made know their reasoning and that the team would be built around him. So the draft comes and they draft the best possible talent at #10 which just happens to be a combo guard. Now, can you blame the Hornets for choosing the best talent available? Can you also blame the Hornets for finding a backup for our restricted, often injured combo guard? No. The Hornets extend you the same offer because nothing has changed. Is it a waste of their time and EG's time to reiterate what you already know? I think so. Fair blame belongs to both EG and the Hornets. Any relationship has a learning curve and this is just a part of that process. When this deal was extended Mr. Benson wasn't the owner. Maybe his agent should have sought to met the new owner and reopen negotiations but for whatever reason EG went on the campaign trail. Was it wise? No, because it was documented in the media that the Hornets were going to match. So, why not call the Hornets and say, you got $8M more but here are my concerns. I know this is in hindsight but EG and/or his agent aren't doing anything to try and repair the relationship. I'm sorry that I'm not as forgiving as others and I think he's going to be a pain during the season. I don't blame Williams for not nursing this type of behavior and I just don't have a good feeling about it. I hope I am wrong.

sweetpea
sweetpea

Like probably every other contributor to this board I've gone back and forth on the EG affair in my own mind and when I'm feeling more empathy alot of what I've thought matches what Ryan has posted. At the end of the day though for me it comes down to this ... who the f does Eric Gordon think he is. I was living in Cleveland actually when the whole Lebron thing went down; at least Lebron had earned his right to do what he did. Lebron never dogged or questioned his teammates in public, never threw Cleveland under the bus until he made the colossal mistake of The Decision. But again Lebron earned the right to be a jerk. Kobe, pre-Pau, earned the right to be a jerk when he demanded that LAL trade him. Go old school .... Jabbar earned the right to leave Milwaukee when he went to the LAL. Ryan if you perform for your company and they treat you like SH** you've earned the right to move on to the other company. But again what has EG done for us to deserve this. This actually angers me almost as much as making our city look like crap before the know-nothings on national TV. He's crappped on the game and he doesn't understand how the game, in every sense of the word, is played. Like my father and his old school friends would say ... how DARE you. Alrighty then, back to NBA 2012

Shantadiva
Shantadiva

If the Suns love Eric as much as he thinks they do, lets see how much they are willing to put up in a sign and trade. If all they are willing to trade are a couple of bench warmers, hopefully Eric will see that they were just blowing smoke up his butt. If they are willing to put up fair compensation, then let him him go to the Suns.

Bombay
Bombay

If u play 9 games in a contract season..Shame on u for expecting a Max offer up front...

nolakid21
nolakid21

I agree with you. Call the guy and just let him know, it is not that hard.

AlterEgoOfJeffBower
AlterEgoOfJeffBower

I'm getting tired of all of these "opinions" by our beloved sports reporters and no hard facts or detailed analysis about what the Hornets' actual options (e.g. sign-and-trade, etc.) really are.

Shane
Shane

We not planning on resigning Landry?

shawn
shawn

The usual way if a team really wants you is knocking on your door as soon as it is legally possible for a face to face meeting. A phone call if they want you to actually consider them as an option. A message to the media if they just wanna use you as a pawn to get more desirable assets.

Shane
Shane

I hope so. Can't wait to get this sissy off the team

Eli
Eli

How do you think Seattle's and OKC's fan base was when they were bad? Then came Durant, Westbrook, Durant, and as the team got better, the fan base grew. I have no doubt in my mind that Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers and whoever else we may get will put butts in the seats. Our future is bright, you are probably dome ignorant Suns fan. How is their future looking?

Chuck
Chuck

I'm gonna guess...Rockets fan? Maybe Lakers fan. Definitely not a Heat fan, he'd be too busy tanning to get online.

sweetpea
sweetpea

Agreed; always loved Garnett; in fact his is the only non-Hornet jersey I own.

shawn suyeyoshi
shawn suyeyoshi

This is the best thought out comment on this blog. Its obvious they really do not want to keep him they just want good assets in return for him.

shawn suyeyoshi
shawn suyeyoshi

Honestly no one has the right to be a jerk. EG, LeBron, or Kobe. Everyone has the right to be human though. Feelings get hurt all the time, most business practices treat people as assets but in the sports world it is more so. EG feels hurt and when a person feels hurt they most often lash out. People wanna go where they feel most welcome and lets be honest the fans of NO have not been supportive of EG since he got injured.

shawn suyeyoshi
shawn suyeyoshi

That makes absolutely no sense at all. If they trade away all the reasons he wants to be there in the first place why would he want to go there? He wants to go there because he believes that the Suns are pushing to be competitive.

kj
kj

thank you u said exactly what im trying to say. This guy never liked our city we are great fans and have to kiss EG butt (great player) our future is too bright right now.

Jordy
Jordy

Isn't this site a blog. Aren't blogs essentially opinions? Even all those moves discussed are educated opinions. If you want news go to ESPN. I'll enjoy my opinion based blog!

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Have you not read those exact posts on this site?

John in MO
John in MO

Maybe, but this seems to suggest otherwise: John Hollinger: Hornets would presumably renounce Kaman, Landry and Belinelli in order to have room for Ryan Anderson.

shawn suyeyoshi
shawn suyeyoshi

Actually, you are showing that you are an ignorant Hornets fan. Seattle actually has a great fan base and has been trying to get an NBA team back there. You probably wasn't even born when Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp took the Sonics to the Finals huh.

Mike
Mike

OKC has had a sellout crowd ever since the Hornets evacuated there. N.O. never has and never will pack the house on any given night. This place is basketball hell and the top player on the hornets isn't equal to the third string long snapper on the saints and free agents know this.

Eli
Eli

*some

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

Sometimes it takes me like 5 minutes to figure out what the heck Jason is talking about, and we communicate daily.

Jordy
Jordy

Jason, I definitely did not mean this site has no facts. I read a lot of your articles and you put in a lot of work to provide facts and hard numbers. I know this site is more than bunch of opinions. Just trying to help with the trolls is all. Sorry for putting this site in the "box". Again, not what I meant.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

I would argue that regardless of what this site if signified by, it is something much more than all that. I can't speak for the others, but I think we do more than just express opinions. I can say for sure that I do. I analyze the socks off things like nobody's business. What's that called? Academics? I'll take it. Just enjoy the WEBSITE and stop trying to stuff it into a box.

AlterEgoOfJeffBower
AlterEgoOfJeffBower

"Blog" is short for "weblog" which is defined as follows: "a Web site that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, also may include journal entries, commentaries and recommendations compiled by the user."

AlterEgoOfJeffBower
AlterEgoOfJeffBower

More than most. Thanks for what you've provided so far. But I'm still hungry for more information.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

This would be better if you used facts or logic.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

My comment is not so much at you as at those same folks. It's like a prepared play . . . You: "I just don't know what to do about all this pet hair!" (but you really do) Me: "Have you tried Hair-Today-Gone-Tomorrow?" (I know you have) You: "No. What's that?" (as if you don't know) Me: "It picks up pet hair." (Duh) You: "Wow!"