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Eric Gordon wants to lead Hornets, win fans back over

Jul 19, 2012, 11:56 AM EDT

Eric Gordon AP

The very nature of the restricted free agency process is awkward. Teams that go there essentially tell a player, “You go find out what the open market will offer for you, then we’ll decide if we like you that much.”

It’s in our human nature to be wanted, to be appreciated. So these players go out on the open market and get wooed. GMs tell them how much they love their skills and what a fit they are, fans start to buzz thinking they could land a new young star. With all that going on, the player gets and offer and he’s excited about a new start. Then the old team can just say, “yes, we’ll keep you” and everything is suddenly snapped back to the way it was. Just with a bigger paycheck.

So it was with Eric Gordon.

The Phoenix Suns wooed him, Gordon felt loved and asked the New Orleans Hornets not to match the Phoenix offer, that his heart was in the Valley of the Sun. The Hornets matched anyway, as they always said they would.

Now Gordon has some relationship repairing to do with the fans in the Big Easy and he told Marc Spears of Yahoo he gets that.

“I wish I could’ve done a little better with the fan perception,” Gordon told Yahoo! Sports. “But also at the same time they don’t know the business perspective of how negotiations are handled. They don’t know how being a restricted free agent can be mind-boggling for a player….”

Gordon has had several conversations with Hornets coach Monty Williams, but was disappointed about not hearing anything from general manager Dell Demps, the Hornets’ new ownership group led by Tom Benson or any other front-office member. He still has yet to speak to the Hornets’ brass.

“All I could do was communicate with the coach,” Gordon said. “That was the only communication I had. My agent [Robert Pelinka] was the only one communicating with the GM and the other front-office people. That was very different for me to go through.”

Again, it’s about feeling wanted.

But what cures all ills is winning… well that and $58 million. Winning may not happen immediately but in the Hornets case it is about showing the potential of winning down the road. That is a balm for fans and will make Gordon feel good.

And the Hornets have potential. They have Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson (the Orlando stretch four acquired via trade) up front, with Gordon and just-drafted Austin Rivers in the backcourt. (If Rivers can play the point remains a question to be answered.) You can see a young elite team in that core.

If that potential starts to be realized all this will be long forgotten.

  1. yousuxxors - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    i really like this team, i think they have a ton of potential.

  2. yankeepunk3000 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I’m sorry but everyone knows the way restricted free agency works. its been like that for a while…every team knows that some other teams going to offer players dumb contracts and then that said team will match it most likely…(feeling wanted) nonsense is beyond stupid…58 million dollars yea how about Gordon shuts it and starts trying to help the hornets turn it around…these millionaires act like babys..jxdkkekjekekej

  3. dunkindan - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    15MM a year and your mind is boggled?

  4. jolink653 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Oh so now he wants to play for New Orleans? After basically begging them to let him go to Phoenix? Nice work genius now you alienated the fan base and I’m sure your teammates will be thrilled to play with you knowing you didn’t want to be there

    • luciusaj - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      Yeah he did come off as if he was alienating the fan base, but like the article stated pretty much every restricted free agent goes through this in some manner. I’m sure his teammates will understand because some of them have probably already gone through it.

  5. skinsfanwill - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    I’ll be happy if you play an entire season for once. Or will you sit out and steal money. that’s all you’ve done since joining the league. Get your body in shape to handle the grind of a 82 game season FOR ONCE!!!!

  6. charlescub80 - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Another clown

  7. connaniii - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Austin Rivers, what about Vasquez?????

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