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Eric Gordon says of not reaching deal, “business is business”

Jan 26, 2012, 5:15 PM EDT

New Orleans Hornets v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Eric Gordon rejected the Hornets for an extension to his rookie contract.

Gordon is the centerpiece coming to New Orleans from the Chris Paul trade with the Clippers, but Gordon has only played two games with his new team due to a bruised knee. And it is now going to be at least three more weeks (and maybe six) before he gets back on the court, according to the team. Because the Hornets didn’t have enough problems this season.

While he has the potential to be one of the best shooting guards in the game, Gordon is not there yet, and he’s been injured a chunk of the last two seasons, which makes reaching a deal a little difficult. While David Stern (the ultimate decision maker since the league owns the Hornets right now) gave approval to offer Gordon a four-year deal, whatever that offer was did not impress Gordon.

Gordon released a statement about that Thursday which can be taken as a little testy.

“We all worked hard on the extension, but sometimes business is business. Right now my sole focus is on staying in great shape, and making sure I get back to 100 percent health as quickly as possible, so I can return to playing and helping my teammates and Coach Monty win games. That is really what it is all about right now for me.”

The team released a statement as well, through GM Dell Demps.

“We made good faith and amicable efforts to reach an agreement on a contract extension over the past few days. Unfortunately, although close, we did not reach an agreement. Eric will be a restricted free agent this summer and we are optimistic and encouraged with the opportunity to sign Eric to a contract that will make him a member of the Hornets organization and community for years to come.”

Gordon is now a restricted free agent this summer and the market will set his value. Some teams, including his hometown Indiana Pacers, may make a run at him. Then the Hornets will have the option of matching any deal. They can decide if he is worth what is offered or not. The real question in New Orleans is who will make that decision in July — will it still be David Stern, or will there be a new owner by then? And how much would a new owner be willing to spend?

  1. mjbulls45 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    hey ,

    he can do whatever he wants to do ,

    I used to be critical of players and their contracts and how much MORE money they want,

    but after seeing whats about to happen to Peyton Manning and the Colts, and reading about how Kobe Bryant of all people was not consulted before the Lakers hired Mike Brown,

    I think — wow, thats how the owners are really gonna go these days?

    well F it then,

    players get your money, do what you need to do, business is business,

    power to the players.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM

      I love that comment. So true.

    • metalhead65 - Jan 27, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      yea so terrible what is going to happen to manning,how horrible it must have been for him to get paid 26 million dollars for not playing a down this season. and they are being so cold and heartless for not picking up that option to pay him another 28 million this year without knowing if he can play or not. I mean how dre they think about think about the future of the team and not all the champioships he won for them right?.

  2. therealhtj - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Players are replaceable, and while a decent 2 like Gordon is a nice piece to have, he was likely looking for a big extension that was hardly warranted. With a 2nd tier guy like Gordon who may make an all-star team in an outlier season, there’s no need to tender up a max deal.

    Take into account that NO is a rudderless ship and until they get an owner on board, it’s not surprising at all.

    If you want to bring Peyton Manning’s deal into this, he basically stole 23 million from the Colts this year, and they’d be on the hook for another 46 if they don’t cut him. If he were on an NBA roster, whatever team signed that deal would be outta luck.

    • rodgersmvp - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      Manning was given that deal even though the Colts knew he was hurt. They took a risk, and they lost – it isn’t Manning’s fault. If I’m offered that much money to work out for a year, I will take it in a heartbeat.

      As for Gordon, good on him. He’s only in NOLA because of David Stern’s meddling. If he can get a better offer somewhere else he should take it. The NBA is a business – there is a large chance he will be forced to play in NOLA because he won’t get a better offer.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:07 AM

      @ therealhtj

      I don’t know bro, outside of Mamba and DWade, I don’t see a better SG in the league.
      Hopefully he’s not a SG version of Oden with all these injuries .

  3. 00maltliquor - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    IN YO FACE, STERN!!!!

    You just gave up CP3 for nothing but a rental of a guy that would rather fake injuries then to play for NOLA!

    Ok, maybe he’s not faking, but he’s outta there next season. So who had the better offer now Dictator Stern?! Hahahahahahahaha, you LOSE!

    But it was for “basketball decisions”, right? Well, E.G. gonna make a decision to play basketball elsewhere you clown!

    He would fit nice in IND, MIN, CHI or even go back to the CLIPS! LMAO

    • kinggw - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Your going to feel pretty silly when Gordon suits up for the Hornets next year, him being a restricted free agent and all.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        Yeah kinggw, he just may play back in New Orleans if another team doesn’t go balls to the wall for him. I can see that happening. But it still felt oooh sooo good to say that!!

  4. crillbill - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Makes the clipper trade look better

  5. louisianamatt - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    For those of you saying this “back-fired” on Stern, yeah right. This was his plan all along, make a “good-looking” trade to Nola, only for the main cog to leave via free agency, leaving Nola with NO TALENT, therefore clearing the way for him (Stern) to re-locate the franchise to Seattle.

    I’m not a prophet, just an observant observer…

    You’re welcome.

  6. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Gordon will be a Pacer.

    • kinggw - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      I guess you missed the part where it states Gordon will be a restricted free agent this summer. In other words he isnt going anywhere unless the Hornets want him to.

  7. goforthanddie - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Think maybe Gordon just doesn’t like the team owner? I’d think twice about committing to that organization too.

  8. thebigkahuna23 - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Stern could go with the ultimate F U and match the offer. If the hornets do he has to sign it.

  9. metalhead65 - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    does anybody believe he is going to turn down more money from the hornets to go anyplace else? he is just using restricted free agency to get a better offer from them. the league will not just let him walk. they will match whatever offer he gets then he will sign a max deal after that.

  10. halfcourthero - Jan 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I like the idea of NOLA going to Seattle. They just got approval to build a stadium and they will definitely be looking for a team to relocate there. Since stern isn’t giving Vegas a team, this should make all of the old sonic fans giddy with joy as the commish will make that team so unattractive for buyers to keep it in NOLA. I wasn’t really thinking about it in that sense but that could easily happen and mind you it wouldnt take a lot movement from the league’s end, they are already in the west they would just move another team in the hornets old SW spot. I don’t think NO appreciates the fact they have a team anyway.

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