Sunday , Aug , 26 , 2007 Oly Sandor

The Problem With Respect: Ben Gordon & Chicago Bulls Talk Contract

I worry when athletes talk of wanting “respect” from their contract. Sure, the money symbolizes their worth to the team. But the “respect-card” puts an unhealthy emotion into a business transaction. After all, the NBA is a business. Ben Gordon has his head on straight. I like his game and attitude. He deserves a lucrative contract from the Bulls. But if “respect” means a max contract, then he could be out of luck …

The Journal News reports on Ben Gordon wanting a new contract:

Gordon, 24, is about to embark on the final year of the four-year rookie contract he signed with the Bulls in 2004 after getting drafted out of Connecticut.

"The Bulls have an opportunity to extend my contract with them this summer," Gordon said yesterday. "So I’m hoping something gets done and I won’t have to wait another year to see what’s going to happen. I’ve done everything possible I could have done to help my team get to the playoffs, and I think it’s up to them right now to see if they want to make a long-term commitment."

"If you look at other players around the league that are doing things similar to what I’ve done in my past year and throughout my career, I just want to get that equal respect," said Gordon, who’ll become a restricted free agent after the upcoming season if he fails to sign an extension. "And that’s all it’s really about. The money I make is going to be more than I’ve ever made, so it really just boils down to getting your just due and your respect."

My Quick Take:

Warning: athlete has used the word "respect" in contract negotiations. Fans, management, and reporters are advised to proceed cautiously as the situation could get ugly.

I worry when athletes talk of wanting "respect" from their contract. Sure, the money symbolizes their worth to the team. But the "respect-card" puts an unhealthy emotion into a business transaction. After all, the NBA is a business.

has his head on straight. I like his game and attitude. He deserves a lucrative contract from the Bulls. But if "respect" means a max contract, then he could be out of luck.

is a deep and balanced team. They are a contender-by-committee; the NBA’s version of an ensemble movie. With so many key players, the Bulls have wisely saved cap space. They can compensate Gordon fairly, but they can’t pay him much more than Kirk Hinrich. The club must also maintain cap room to sign star and youngsters like like Tyrus Thomas and Thabo Sefolosha.

Will the Bulls’ offer be enough for Gordon? If not, will he feel disrespected? What happens then?

Chicago is in a tough spot. They must pay Gordon fairly. They must make him feel respected. But they must also maintain enough cap space to sign most of their players and stay competitive.

Should Ben Gordon get a max contract from the Chicago Bulls? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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