As I try to understand why Eric Gordon would want to leave a team in New Orleans with a potential superstar big man (Anthony Davis) for Phoenix, I located some video on the web.
It was a story about two Arizona State basketball transfers. One of them was Evan Gordon, Eric's younger brother. One of the themes throughout the story is how close Eric is with his parents and his two younger brothers (Eron is the youngest).
Maybe Eric just wants to be close to his brother. But is that, and a lot of sunshine, worth being on a bad team?
The Phoenix Suns are starting over. A local Phoenix TV website appropriately called the Suns current state, "a house cleaning." Their words, not mine.
There's no questioning Gordon's talent. In the nine games he played last season, the New Orleans Hornets won six. Without him, the Hornets' record was a dismal 15 wins, 42 losses.
With Gordon on the perimeter, along with soon-to-be Hornets forward Ryan Anderson, there would be plenty of space inside for Davis to operate.
Hornets general manager Dell Demps has done his best to temper expectations. But it would be hard not to believe this team couldn't make a quantum leap in the Western Conference with Davis, fellow rookie Austin Rivers, the sharp-shooting Anderson and potential All-Star Gordon.
In the meantime, for Saints/Hornets owner Tom Benson, it is a rude welcome to the NBA. It is the league that the players, not the owners, control.
The current prime example: Orlando center Dwight Howard wants out and could be dealt to Brooklyn. If he plays with the Nets, he will play alongside guard Deron Williams, who forced his way out of Utah and cost head coach Jerry Sloan, the longest tenured coach in the league, his job. Williams recently agreed to a $100 million deal with Brooklyn.
All-Star point guard Chris Paul has spurned a three-year, $60 million dollar offer from the Clippers. Next summer, Paul could sign a five-year deal worth $108 million but will be an unrestricted free agent.
Minnesota forward Kevin Love, like Paul a member of the U.S. Olympic team, has put the Timberwolves on notice that he wants a better supporting cast. Don't be surprised if Love, who played at UCLA, somehow winds up back in L.A. with the Lakers.
The new collective bargaining agreement was supposed to be more punitive for teams trying to collect superstars. Emphasis on "supposed to be."
I am asked often how Mr. Benson can afford to pay Gordon, who doesn't want to play here, a total of $58 million over the next four years while his Saints and proven superstar quarterback Drew Brees bicker over less than $1 million?
It is simple. The NFL has a franchise tag, and the owners run that league.
In the NBA, there's no such tag. Plus, when a superstar wants out, he eventually - if he's patient - gets his way.
I can't imagine that Benson is happy with that new reality - or with Eric Gordon.
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