McNeill on NBA: Gordon in need of fresh start

February 12, 2013, 3:53 PM

Having someone you’re invested in flirt with other opportunities is never a good thing.

Whether it’s a girlfriend looking to see if the grass is greener somewhere else or a co-worker seeking what they perceive as a better opportunity, it’s bound to result in feelings being hurt and relationships being damaged.

Such is the case with Eric Gordon who signed a contract offer with the Phoenix Suns this summer and then boldly announced to the media that his heart was no longer into playing with the New Orleans Hornets.

“Phoenix is just where my heart is now,” Gordon said last summer after he signed an offer sheet with the Suns.

Gordon did manage a quick recovery once New Orleans matched the offer when he claimed he was happy to remain with the team. But, by that point, the damage had already been done.

Further adding to the fans dismay is a knee injury which has seen Gordon suit up for only 18 of New Orleans 51 games so far this season.

“I came back not at 100 per cent,” Gordon told reporters last week. “I was nowhere near in shape. I’m still not at 100 per cent today. I’m still just battling through it.”

Never the most athletic guard, Gordon now seems content to jog up and down the court and hover in one area waiting for a pass. He looks disengaged and is more than willing to wait and hope the ball finds him instead of cutting and finding ways to get open.

One of Gordon’s few forays into the paint saw Kyle Lowry stuff his shot on Sunday. His layup attempt — if you can even call it that — barely saw him get enough space between his feet and the floor to stuff a phonebook.

There were countless times where Gordon would stand with his palms raised up and a puzzled look on his face when he didn’t get the rock. In fact, his confused look was reflective of his game because he had as many turnovers (six) as points.

Things weren’t much better after the game.

Following the Hornets’ loss in Toronto, Monty Williams admitted he was not impressed with the turnovers Gordon committed and vented to the media, “Eric (Gordon), he had six turnovers. Your best player can’t do that.”

Gordon’s mood wasn’t any better.

“(Sunday) was very tough,” Gordon admitted. “As players we need to be put in positions where we are capable of scoring like I did in my last game. I haven’t been able to get up a lot of shots during games and it’s tough.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for how his coach is using him or the amount of touches he’s getting. For a player that flirted with ditching the team this summer it doesn’t sound like the coach has won him back.

This weekend is Valentine’s Day — typically a time for couples to express their love and admiration for each other. However, for Gordon and the Hornets, it appears that the upcoming trade deadline may symbolize the end of a failed relationship that had at one time held so much promise.

With the NBA trade deadline looming, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see both sides part ways.

It’s a shame, because if Gordon’s head had been in the right place, he could have formed quite the trio with Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.


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