Trying to be Positive About the Eric Gordon Situation

Published: December 13, 2012

We have rarely talked about Eric Gordon here on Hornets247, rather we mention him passively in 20-point losses which we feel like aren’t a reflection of the talent on the roster. I think we need to change that and try and be a little bit positive!

Yes, my 300-odd twitter followers (so many, I know…) are confused at how a person like me could be positive, but I shall none the less attempt to be.

In this piece I will attempt to give three reasons to be more positive about the outlook for Eric Gordon.

Long-Term Healing

Whether we like it or not Eric Gordon is going to be with this organisation for a long time. A trade would be significantly unfavourable to us and I doubt that even Dell Demps would cut ties with someone they labelled a “phenomenal player,” who they were “thrilled to have in our organisation.”

That stands still to this day, but it certainly hasn’t been seen that way amongst many Hornets fans. Jeremy Stevens (@JeremyStevens0) points out that “I would love to love the guy. He just makes it hard to do that.” Lancelot (@Bowtothe_Brow) calls Gordon, “Optimistically frustrating” and Jordan (@NOHrevolution) says he’s “testing the limitations of hope…”

As you can see Hornet fans are frustrated. They thought they were getting an All-Star calibre player who would lead this team for the long-term. That outlook is looking pretty bleak because of the fear of injuries.

But what is the reasoning for him continually being held out?

The basis of it is that he is injury prone, a label that frustrates many NBA players. This is their job, their craft, their life and to undermine it with a notoriously negative label is quite ignorant to the work they put in.

However, for Eric Gordon this is rather easy to do. From his Clipper days he was injured several times playing in fewer games each and every season. He went from playing in 78 games his rookie year to 62, to 56 to 9 with the Hornets and now he’s on 0. These are the marks of an ailing individual let alone a professional sportsman.

The counter to this; the positive slant if you will, is that the Hornets are trying to get Gordon back to truly 100 percent for his career. The Clippers are an organisation notorious for poorly handled personal decisions. The easy assumption here is that they incorrectly handled Gordon’s rehabilitation and rarely if ever monitored his returned.

What I’m trying to say here is that New Orleans is trying to look at Eric as a long-term investment. Rather than put him on the court in a season that is fast becoming a lost hope for the playoffs, Hornets management is trying to ensure a longevity of health for the roster.

The reasoning behind this can be seen elsewhere. Anthony Davis spent an excessive amount of time out before returning from a stress reaction. Jason Smith was held out last year for a lot of time for a concussion he could have returned from.

New Orleans knows that this season isn’t the one to win a championship. It’s a season to develop youth and establish an identity. While it would be nice to have Gordon in town to help mould that in a leadership role it could be that he’s in LA to simply get the best medical attention.

A misunderstood PR Job

In my opinion the whole Eric Gordon situation has been one of the biggest PR disasters since the BP Oil Spill – maybe they are even. From start to present it’s been an uphill battle for Gordon and the Hornets to mend a completely disconnected line with fans.

Every time positive news comes from the Hornets in relation to Eric Gordon it’s met with scathing suspicion.

This is yet another of the odd contradictions in the Gordon saga; it doesn’t fit with his actions. When the team gathered for voluntary workouts in August, Gordon was there — was there early, in fact. When last season ended — a season in which Gordon played only nine of 66 games — Gordon spent the majority of the time working out in New Orleans before heading to Las Vegas with Team USA. – Ken Berger of

The ill-conceived PR job began the very instant Gordon was traded to New Orleans. Rather than act like a professional and embrace the task of being the centrepiece of a rebuild, Eric was upset the team that drafted him would send him to the cellar dweller that was the Hornets.

When he became a free-agent he toured the country and listened to team’s pitches, but was then upset that the Hornets didn’t have one of their own; despite New Orleans’ clear intent to match any contract. He let out cries of concerns for an organisation that didn’t consider him to be the talent that he thought he was – this has since been heavily rebuffed.

Then we lead into the second injury with the Hornets where Eric was rumoured to of been upset and it was speculated he was “faking” an injury because the Hornets matched and wanted him with the organisation.

When it was announced he would be out for 4-6 weeks head coach Monty Williams let out his frustrations. On the day of those comments Gordon couldn’t be reached for a statement. Rather than immediately come out on the day, Gordon and the Hornets tried to piece together the mess that had been stewing overnight and sent Eric out for a statement that had national and local media scratching their heads.

It hasn’t been the sweetest or smoothest of PR jobs but the message is clear – Eric is a part of this organisation.

We need to be reminded that these players are people too. Gordon is most definitely an introvert type of person. He’s not one to clearly express himself and certainly doesn’t want to make a show and dance about what he’s doing.

That’s okay by me, but because he’s this type of person perhaps he needs to utilize his communication tools a little more effectively.

The questions about Eric will always remain until he starts playing basketball over a long duration of time. In the future it might be best for Gordon to understand how he fits in to all of this. Fans are impatient, but what they really are craving right now is leadership and a direction.

Over Analysing Is Pointless

There’s little reason in trying to figure out what the outcome might be. The Hornets need to create the best environment for Eric regardless of the outcome so that he can get healthy physically and mentally for the long term. If they do this they will know they did everything in their ability to give him the greatest chance of success and hold no regrets.

If you let him go out there and play through the pain are you really correcting the issue? Aren’t you just making it worse? Eric’s number one concern when signing a long-term deal was health, so don’t you think the Hornets should deal with this first, foremost and thoroughly? Handling it any other way would have been disastrous for their timetable of success when Anthony Davis and any other projects develop in a few years.

Fans, commentators, analysts of the New Orleans Hornets feel like they’ve been lied to as Gordon’s timetable has been continuously pushed back. Maybe the organisation doesn’t know what they’ve been dealing with, but to say that the Hornets have been intentionally misleading their fans with injury reports is a little ridiculous.


Regardless of what you think of Eric Gordon, moving forward we have to be postitive. It’s a bright future for this team. Eric’s willingness to be a part of it can still be proven this season. If he finishes out the season healthy perhaps public opinion will change.

For Gordon, his management, Hornets management and his fans, the best way to solve issues in the public arena is to play and play well. There’s nothing else to it. You can talk in the media all you want, try to be politically correct as you want, but there’s nothing else that will solve people’s issues like playing.

Hopefully with the time off this can happen for not just this season but for the ones to come.


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