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Eric Gordon once again says he wants to be in Phoenix, Hornets fans just want to be loved

Jul 6, 2012, 7:08 PM EDT

Eric Gordon USA Getty Images

Eric Gordon really doesn’t like not having a choice where he plays next season. He clearly wants to be wanted and we should all admit the Hornets didn’t really handle that well (Gordon says neither GM Dell Demps nor coach Monty Williams have reached out to him since free agency started).

But Eric — stop pissing off the fans of where you will play next year.

Phoenix has offered Gordon a max deal (four years, $58 million, with the final year a players’ option) and that’s where he wants to be. But the Hornets have said since Day 1 that they would match any offer for Gordon. Including a max. They see Gordon at the two and Anthony Davis at the five as cornerstones of a future contender (and they may well be right). Gordon will be a Hornet, but keeps singing the praises of the Suns.

Gordon is in Las Vegas for USA Basketball’s Olympic tryout camp and spoke to the media. Here are some highlight quotes (with my comments after), all via Joe Gerrity of Hornets247.com.

• On if the Hornets match and he’s forced to remain in New Orleans– “I gotta play basketball”

• 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.”

Don’t disrespect the intelligence of the fans. They get this is a business for you, but like you they also want to be respected. They are powerless on who comes and goes from their teams. What they want from you is effort and a sense of loyalty, of commitment to them on some level like you are asking from them and the organization. You can leave in a few years, they have to root for the jersey. They relate to management because it is not as transient as the players who come and go. You don’t have to stay to get them to love you, but you have to get them to believe you would stay for them. In the past week you have done none of that.

• 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”

Gordon can’t be so insecure as to think Rivers is threatening his job. And he must have noticed the first draft pick made was a franchise-anchor center, a shot blocking big, right? He’d be happier if they drafted Meyers Leonard? Really? And if you think they should get the free agent bigs on the market, go look at that market again.

• On what made Phoenix a better fit than New Orleans– “the interest. I feel like I’m 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 will just say this: The fans of New Orleans will welcome Gordon with open arms next season. They want to embrace him. All he has to do is open his arms up and embrace them back. It’s that simple. Put the business behind you and move on.

  1. cakemixa - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Please listen to this clip of Hornets coach Monty Williams talking about how he met with Gordon, praised him, and told him how much he wants him back. Apparently, Gordon doesn’t recall this phantom visit?

    http://www.webwiseforradio.com/site_files/244/File/6-29%20Monty%20on%20Eric%20Gordon.MP3

    • wjmoffatt - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:29 AM

      was it his exiting door talk? Because everyone is required to do that, so what’s that mean. Not squat!

  2. redwards29a - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant yooooooooooou to waant meeeee

    Can we start talking about how Eric Gordon dicked over the University of Illinois? Suddenly loyalty is a big deal for him?

    • wjmoffatt - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      How is he not loyal for his college choice? The man is from Indianapolis, Indiana. Not far from IU, so choosing his home team late in the process isn’t that big of a deal, now if he were to choose MSU or Ohio State that’s a different story. But come on how many young kids go back in forth on choosing colleges?

  3. putmeinthegamecoach - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Got that right baby. But we will boo him just like we did when Chris Paul came back to NOLA after his trade.

  4. cawood68 - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    I am a hornets fan and can he just stfu!!! At least act like you want to be on a franchise that’s building a contender for years to come. lil Dwight Howard

  5. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Florio 2.0? Do you just sit in your ivory tower & rip people all day too? If you have a right to rip him he more then has a right to express disapointment that New Orleans showed zero interest & Phoenix treated him like a king. It’s a two way street .. ..

  6. chadinkc30 - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Sorry but IMO this guy is the most overrated player in the NBA! I feel like if he wasn’t technically a 2 guard, he’d be another dime a dozen player! Not to mention this guy is injured more than any 2 guard in the league

    • moseskkim - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:13 PM

      He is a 20+ ppg scorer, can distribute the ball, excellent 3 pt shooter, plus free throw shooter/can drive, good defender. certain players up for “max contracts” arent really getting max money. sure.. the max they could get, but 15 mil/yr for a rare breed of centers Hibbert, and Gordon who is definitely an up and coming scoring guard are not too much. if kwame brown can get 8 mil for nothing, if rashard lewis can get 22 mil for nothing, 15mil/yr for gordon isnt bad at all. just stay healthy EJ!

      • wjmoffatt - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:07 AM

        I guess his former teammate Blake Griffin isn’t more over rate then……Griffin=most overrated

  7. stadix093 - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Seems to me that Rivers and Gordon are the same player. Small 2 guards. Get em out if you don’t want the headache.

    • moseskkim - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      they are both combo guards but rivers is really skinny. gordon has some bulk and can bang with sg’s just like what chauncey billups can do. the key is can rivers distribute? since they have jack, rivers has some time to mature as a better passing guard.

      • Kurt Helin - Jul 7, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        Rivers is an unproven rookie, we don’t know yet what he will be in the NBA. We know what Gordon is and when healthy he is very good.

  8. papichulo55 - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    The Hornets need to learn the lesson that Odom gave to Cuban. You should not count on a professional effort from everybody. Especially when millions of dollars are guaranteed. If the Hornets decide that Gordon is not looking for more money or promises of being Number One, then they shoould look to do a sign-and-trade and let him go. Dont let the bad apple spoil the bunch.

  9. blaksteele - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Eric Gordon is good, but not max deal good. Remind me what the lockout was for again?

  10. thegonz13 - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    $58 million will buy you a lot of hugs in Nawlins, dawg! Some free advice: don’t piss off the fans, O.K.?

  11. rezburna - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    I was very excited when I learned we got Eric Gordon back in the Chris Paul trade, but he most definitely needs to go. He never wanted to be with New Orleans, it was apparent in his body language when he got traded. I wish we could’ve made it work, but if he doesn’t want to be here they need to match the Suns offer and trade him for somebody who does. We could probably get great value back for him. I definitely wouldn’t grant him his wish by trading him to the Suns though. He doesn’t deserve to get his requests given to him. He’s done nothing for the Hornets organization except play in 9 games.

    • wjmoffatt - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:09 AM

      And he didn’t want to go there in the first place like you said, so why treat someone in the manner you are saying because his team did to him what you are suggesting for no reason, two wrongs don’t make a right!

      • southcidal - Jul 7, 2012 at 1:27 AM

        This is business, not Sunday school. Being morally “right” doesn’t win titles, ask Phil Jackson. Demps will match the deal regardless of Gordon’s feelings. But he’ll have a long sit down with Gordon and if he truly doesn’t wanna be there he’s gonna trade him to the highest bidder, not necessarily the Suns.

      • rezburna - Jul 7, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        There is no right or wrong in this situation. He’s an employee of the NBA, meaning he can he traded at any time. If Chris Paul didn’t get to choose his trading partner, then Eric Gordon definitely shouldn’t be able to either. I’m Hornets fan, the players come and go. We need to trade him for the best value, not the best situation for him.

  12. rezburna - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    I was very excited when I learned we got Eric Gordon back in the Chris Paul trade, but he most definitely needs to go. He never wanted to be with New Orleans, it was apparent in his body language when he got traded. I wish we could’ve made it work, but if he doesn’t want to be here they need to match the Suns offer and trade him for somebody who does. We could probably get great value back for him. I definitely wouldn’t grant him his wish by trading him to the Suns though. He doesn’t deserve to get his requests given to him. He’s done nothing for the Hornets organization except play in 9 games and complain.

  13. diabloryno - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I dont understand why if he doesn’t want to be on NOLA that bad why he just doesn’t sign the qualifying offer and suck it up. I understand he doesn’t want to get hurt but your options at this point are pretty darn limited. Take the QO or be prepared to play in NOLA for the next 4 years.

    • moseskkim - Jul 7, 2012 at 1:18 AM

      there are certain players who could risk taking the QO. But for someone like Gordon who has been injured, if he can get 60 mil over 4 years, he takes it. in the end its about getting paid big and teams want him so he had to do it this way. #1 is money, #2 is city. hes just trying to get both and aint nuthin wrong with that! cuz i would want the same thing.

  14. redstar504 - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Look, I get what Eric Gordon is feeling and I can see it but I don’t understand it. He thinks the Hornets should have just thrown the max out there to start with. They didn’t and here is the why. Allowing him to hit the market and have a team like the Suns make an offer the Hornets saved an extra year and a nice chunk of change.

    I see how it hurts his feelings but he has an injury history. Dell Demps is calling the shots but at the end of the day Mickey Loomis is holding the purse strings. Anyone who follows the Saints knows he is a shrewd businessman that will take every advantage of any means available to save cash to spend on other players.

    Loomis knows you have a pie of cash and you have to spend that pile wisely and get the most for your dollar.

    I am sure Gordon’s feelings are hurt but it made business sense to do it this way. The old Hornets ownership had no business sense and that is what made the NBA have to step in and buy the team. This is a different crowd running the show and an NFL executive with hard salary cap experience controlling the money. It’s not personnel it’s business.

    As for fans he can posture all he (gordon) wants at the end of the day he sinks a few clutch shots all we be forgiven. Fans have short memories and the ones that don’t know this is the business side of the game.

    Gordon will be a Hornet at the end of the day and he will be glad that he is because there are some really special things going on with this team.

    Better management, facilities, and tallest will make this a special club in short time. I am just so happy the days of George Shinn are all in the rear view now.

    • wjmoffatt - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      Yeah but he doesn’t communicate with the fans like he does the front office daily. Working for someone that doesn’t make you feel appreciated sucks and it is something that no one should have to go through. Chemistry is an important factor more in the NBA than the NFL, hopefully the new Owner learns this fast.

      • redstar504 - Jul 7, 2012 at 4:55 AM

        I don’t disagree with you one bit that chemistry is more important in the NBA. This is specifically due to team size and more importantly the shear amount of time in confined spaces players have to spend with one another (just think at least 41 private charter flights together, 41 road trips all in the same hotel) .

        Chemistry aside there is no way Gordon should feel unappreciated. Coach Williams said over and over that this is Eric’s team. Dell Demps said getting him under a long term contract is the Hornets number one priority. When you have a coach saying your the cornerstone/franchise player and a GM saying you are the number one priority you should feel appreciated.

        At days end Gordon knows the level of respect and appreciation the Hornets have for him. What we are seeing is posturing by Gordon or more than likely his agent to get Gordon the best deal

  15. redstar504 - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    @pavelfitzgerald

    The Hornets have shown a ton of interest in Gordon especially considering he only played a handful of games for them last year and seemed disinterested in games at times tweeting about NCAA games while his teammates were grinding it out.

    Again it made business sense for them to let another team throw him an offer first for them to match later.

    They will match any offer so he is going to be here, unless some team comes up with a crazy sign and trade but that team wont be the suns, they don’t have anything to offer.

    He will be a Hornet when it is all said and done. The fans will forgive and forget. Gordon will get paid, win some games and be happy.

    To the author of this piece Anthony Davis is not a 5 in the NBA and no way the Hornets use him as one. Look for the Hornets to nab someone in FA this season and address the position next summer. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s going to take a few days to rebuild the Hornets after the mess George Shinn left and the gutting preformed by the NBA that was necessary after years of mismanagement.

    It’s just good to be moving forward instead of getting worse and simply treading water.

  16. lakerluver - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Wtf is this dude talking about?! He should just shut up. He has already alienated himself from the fans in N.O. and his teammates as well.

  17. imforbigblue - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Anybody gives this cry baby a max deal is a moron

  18. papichulo55 - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    This is all business, pure and simple. Why is everyone so upset at the guy trying to earn as much as he can? This aint Cuba, afterall. You and I might think that $58 million is enough, but he has the right to want more. Egotistical? Spoiled? Unworthy? Maybe, but his attitude has been vindicated by someone offering him $58 million, GUARANTEED! So stop hatin, everybody. Just send your son to basketball camp, lol.. And remember, “Dont Hate The Player, Hate The Game”.

  19. saint1997 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    What is it that makes these NBA stars so arrogant and callous! They need to recognise that their job actually affects a lot of people and they should start caring a little bit more about the people that allow them to earn salaries doing something they love. I get people have certain personalities, but a little bit of caring and giving back goes a long way in fan support (Nash with his situation in Phoenix) and vice versa for those who don’t care (Howard etc.)

    • redstar504 - Jul 7, 2012 at 5:15 AM

      Basketball players act that way because they can get away with it. Remember what David Stern said to Tom Benson when he bought the team?, “Welcome to the NBA where you are only one player away!”

      That is a true statement because in the NBA one player can take you from being in the basement to the penthouse. Just look at the Cleveland Cavaliers in June of 2003 they draft LeBron James before that they hadn’t made the playoffs for 5 straight seasons and had not won a series for over a decade. The year before LBJ they won 17 games. His rookie season they win 35 then 42 the next season, Lebron’s year three they win a series. Lebron’s year 4 they are in the finals.Life after LBJ they have won only 27.5% of their games over the last 2 seasons.

      The players know this and most of them take full advantage of it. Players have more value than coaches. Look at Orlando they dumped Stan VanGundy and their GM to try to placticate Howard.

      • saint1997 - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:07 AM

        I agree. Bball is a unique sport in that one player can change the outcome of a team and tbh that’s part of the reason I really like it and I am more intrigued by it than other american sports, because of the smaller rosters and the larger player impact (I’m a 15 year old Australian so American sports aren’t as talked about and celebrated here). But at the same time, Eric Gordon is good but he is not LBJ, he is not DWade, he does not change the fortune of a team with his presence. What I’m saying is his skill level doesn’t warrant and is not proportional to his arrogance and callousness

  20. patfic15 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    I’d trade him in a heartbeat.

  21. eliownsallyourqbs - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Gordon will end up in PHX!!!!!!

  22. papichulo55 - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Wow! Didnt realize that my comments needed to be censored! Must be my handle. To us Dominicans, and Carribeans in general, PapiChulo, is a handsome, well dressed man. Check it out at ThatsDominican.com, or Google it.

  23. wjmoffatt - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    New Orleans fans seem to think it’s an honor to play there, I mean CP3 seemed disinterested in the off season before this last year. He TWEETED that he was upset the Laker trade didn’t go through.Gordon wasn’t drafted by New Orleans, the people that traded for him and made the call aren’t there, and he didn’t have a say in his trade there. For the owner to not be in contact with him during this time and he just took over the team says a lot! Leave the man be, his not the only one that has been vocal about wanting to leave his team, his right no other sports have this restricted FA bs, that makes you be unhappy either short term but not signing a contract and making less money or unhappy long term by having the place you don’t want to be at match the offer sheet you just signed so you can get the hell out of there. It’s not right at all, maybe if someone feels appreciated than they will stay regardless of the size of the market. Tell the GMs to do a better job before they draft the players in knowing a players future intentions.

    • southcidal - Jul 7, 2012 at 1:21 AM

      It should be an honor to get paid millions to play a child’s game in any city. As a N.O. fan, I could care less about a player’s feelings, all I care about is my team winning. Gordon shouldn’t be yapping in the media in my opinion. I guess Phoenix has told him to do so to hurt Hornets leverage in negotiations. As for Chris Paul, he did the Hornets a favor by telling them ahead of time that he was headed elsewhere. Its wasn’t a dislike for playing in New Orleans, but more of a dislike for getting ousted in the first round. Gordon needs to realize that Gragic and Beasley might get you 42 wins this year, but Anthony Davis and Rivers can potentially have him playing in June in 2-3 years and Monty Williams can coach circles around D’Antoni clone Gentry. But the baby’s feelings were hurt because a little competition was drafted.

    • redstar504 - Jul 7, 2012 at 5:27 AM

      I don’t think it is an honor to play here in so much as it’s a tremendous opportunity to play for a team on the rise and more importantly a team with perhaps the brightest young coach in the NBA right now. That is what intrigues me the most about the Hornets. Living here I watched that team a lot last season and I was amazed at how much he got out of the roster he had to work with last season. He got D-League players to bring it in the NBA.

      Honestly its an honor to play for any NBA team be it the Suns or the Hornets.

  24. southcidal - Jul 7, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    As A long time Hornets fan I say trade him. Maybe this Phoenix love is just a negotiating ploy, but if he truly wants out Dell Demps should orchestrate a sign and trade. We’re starting over anyway. Lets start this thing off fresh, with a new mascot and all positive energy. I doubt that Phoenix can send equal value, but getting two other nightly contributers just might have to do.

    Send us Marcin Gortat, Markeif Morris and Aaron Brooks in a sign and trade and tell Gordon to let the doorknob hit him where the good Lord…………

    We’ve got Austin Rivers anyway.

    Davis
    Aminu
    Gortat
    Rivers
    Brooks

    This is a solid starting 5

    Jack
    Miller
    Smith
    Ayon
    Henry

    Is a solid bench.

    Let him leave if he doesn’t wanna be here, but get value in return.

    • rezburna - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      If they do decide to trade him to the Suns, they need to make them give up Gortat, Marshall, Dudley, and a 1st. No less then that. If they don’t want to do that, then they get no trade.

  25. redstar504 - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    @wjmoffatt

    The NFL has restricted FA’s as well it’s a little different but same concept. Secondly, the people that pulled the trigger on the trade are still part of the Hornets front office. Dell Demps is still the GM, Monty Williams is still the head coach both men insisted, much to the dislike of the Clippers, that Eric Gordon be the centerpiece of the CP3 trade. The only guy different in the front office is Mickey Loomis and he is only handling the money/contracts.

    Gordon has always been the focal point of the rebuild. I don’t see how he can say he doesn’t feel wanted. He was given two options:

    1.) sign his qualifying offer play the season and become a UFA or start pushing for a trade after he signed. This would have been the easy route out of New Orleans.

    2.) Hit the open market see what his value is and if NOLA will match.

    He chose option two now claiming the Hornets aren’t acting like they want him. That is where the BS is. Look back at draft night both Dell Demps and Monty Williams said numerous times that this was Eric’s team, he was the leader, resigning him was the number one priority. How much clearer they can be?

    I think what it boils down to is NOLA didn’t throw the MAX out there to begin with. He’s upset but it made no business sense for NOLA to do that. Gordon is a great player but has an injury history. That contract would have been a ton of guaranteed cash over a long term and quite frankly an unwise move. Matching the Suns offer gives New Orleans a cheeper deal with a shorter time frame. If he stays healthy, lives up to potential then they can extend later. If he flames out it’s off the books in a few years. Hurt feelings or not it made sense.

    The not talking part is even more entertaining. He knows the Hornets are matching they have said so from day one. They can’t do anything till the 11th so what is the point tipping your hand right now?

    As for CP3 wanting out that was a different time. I don’t blame Paul for wanting out.

    Less than a year ago the Hornets were a mess. They were owned by the league and rumored to be relocating. Paul wanted to play for a contender and the Hornets were just about bankrupt thanks to tons of stupid moves be Shinn and GM genius Jeff Bower; no money equates to no moves and at that point they were going nowhere. They had no plan and no future. David West said he was leaving so Paul wanted out of the mess that was the Hornets.

    Fast-forward to today the Hornets have a new and very deep pocketed owner, who has bought a first class management team to the table. He is investing in the team building them a first class practice facility to replace the rundown high school gym they have now in the swamps of Westwego. Tom Benson has secured money to refurbish the New Orleans arena, got a long term deal locking the Hornets in New Orleans, snagged two tremendous talents in the draft in Rivers and Davis. Even more interesting New Orleans freed up tons of cash to use on FA’s by dumping Emeka and Ariza on Washington.

    The team now has a vision, direction and a bright future a far cry from the rudderless ship CP3 bailed out on. Gordon has every reason to want to play for NO.

    I do agree with you on one thing. BLAKE GRIFFIN IS THE MOST OVERRATED PLAYER IN THE GAME. The dude is Vince Carter 2.0. Sure he can dunk a ball but outside of making sports center every night for dunking or flopping his game is pretty pedestrian but hey dunks sell. He will flame out fast as he ages unless he can develop a better mid-range.

    • rezburna - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Vince Carter was far less one-dimensional then Blake.

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