Eric Gordon Really Wants Out Of New Orleans

Published: July 6, 2012

After talking with Eric Gordon at Team USA Trials, it’s even more clear that he really doesn’t want to come back to New Orleans.

Update: The video is up!



Lets’s start out by saying that Eric Gordon felt extremely uncomfortable in this interview. He had backed up 10 feet from where we started by the time the interview ended. He said “ya know” a thousand times. He’s not comfortable talking about this, and he’d much prefer to do his talking with a basketball on the court.

EG tried to say he didn’t want to talk about it, but Jimmy Smith and I were relentless! Be sure to check out his article as well.

Gordon said he felt disrespected by the Hornets initial offer in January, which he made pretty clear was less than the 50 million dollars some have been reporting. He repeatedly stated that he wants to go to the Suns, that he feels that’s a better fit for him, that they appreciate him as a player.

When asked if he would have signed a 58 million dollar deal in January, he said “why not?”. I responded by asking him if this was then about the money. He said “Not at all. It’s not about that. It’s about the kind of player caliber I am”. I followed up by asking if money is representative of what kind of player they think he is, and he seemed to realize what he was saying didn’t make complete sense.

Frankly I get the idea that Gordon really wants to be wanted, and the Hornets missed the boat to some extent on making him feel that way. He said repeatedly “the interest isn’t there.” He said multiple times that Dell and Monty haven’t spoken with him since the free agent period started. I get the feeling that if they had told him on day one and said that they were going to match any offer– that he was their guy– this could have been avoided. I don’t mean in the media or on the phone, either. I mean one on one in Indiana, where he was when free agency started.

But this isn’t Dell’s fault by any means. It’s just my feeling after talking to him that a simple one on one meeting could have been enough. He wants to be wanted more than the Hornets thought they needed to want him, if that makes any sense.

I questioned him about what would happen if the Hornets had 100 employees outside with a blue carpet. He seemed to imply that it was too little, too late.

Physically he said he’s at 100%. He said that otherwise he wouldn’t be out there playing. He did take a poke to the eye during the scrimmage, but was totally fine aside from a small scrape on his cheek half an hour later during the interview.

Gordon talked a bit about how Austin River was similar to him, and how he expected them to draft a center instead. I’m not sure if he’s aware of this, but you can’t find a solid starting center at #10 in the draft. Maybe down the road, but not right away. It generally takes time for those guys to develop, otherwise they wouldn’t be around at 10. Sure they could have gotten Zeller, but let’s be real– that’s not an answer.

Quotes From Gordon–

On what impact his statements will have on the fans if Hornets match– “Fans will be fans. They gotta understand what’s really going on. As of right now it’s all. I’m just concentrating on USA basketball.”

On if the Hornets match and he’s forced to remain in New Orleans– “I’m a basketball player at the end of the day. Where I’m at, I’ve just got to play ball. But as of right now, it’s going to be for the Phoenix Suns. If [the Hornets] match, I’ve got to play basketball.”

On if he felt slighted when Austin Rivers was drafted– “if you look at it, we have no center, we have hardly no bigs, you never know. I’m at a point where I went to Phoenix, I talked to their organization and next think you know they signed the players”

“You look at our roster right now, what do we have, one big? Jason Smith? Before Anthony Davis, we had no bigs.”

“My thing is, if you’re trying to be a good team, and you’ve got a young team, you’ve got to fill in spaces. I am the shooting guard. We’ve got plenty of point guards on our team right now.”

On if Phoenix’s training staff had an impact on his decision– “All that factors in. Who wouldn’t want to go to a good staff? Period.”

On why the Suns are the best fit– “The type of interest that they have as an organization. That’s just point-blank.”

On what made Phoenix a better fit than New Orleans– “The interest– I feel like im getting taken advantage of over there just because I’m restricted… if they wanted to…. you know how this CBA, this deal is, it’s built for you to stay with your remaining team, but everything has been taken advantage of”.

I told him as I walked out that most fans in Nola really love him and want him back. He offered up the only smile of an interview.

Dell was also on site, but I was unable to speak with him. I’ll try later today or hopefully tomorrow.

Video and more to come!

On a personal note, it feels wrong that he thinks it’s disrespectful to get a 48 ish million dollar offer during a season in which he wound up playing 9 games. Guy needs to stop listening to his agent and realize how insulting it is to fans who scrape together cash from their jobs– which often pay less in a year than he would in a week under the “disrespectful offer”– to go watch him play.

He seems like a nice guy. I’m genuinely rooting for him to succeed regardless of what happens, but he needs to take a step back and understand that he doesn’t hold all the cards, that he isn’t entitled to have a max deal thrown at him considering how many games he’s missed. Should he be happy he got one? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that anything less than that is insulting.

The Hornets allowed the market to determine their price, and now they know that he’s worth the max (to somebody). That’s how this works. His inability to understand that is a bit odd considering how vocal he has been regarding the process.

Plus the way the he belittled his former Hornets teammates– guys who played 60 games while he chilled in Indiana– was just downright insulting. He didn’t even include Gustavo Ayon when talking about the team’s big men.

If you’re wondering why I’ve been thinking he’s a goner, you have your answer.



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