Saturday , Aug , 16 , 2008 Oly Sandor

The problem with respect: Ben Gordon and Chicago’s dysfunctional negotiations

Don’t get it twisted. Privately, Gordon, as a restricted free agent, can ask for his Aretha Franklins (that means R-E-S-P-E-C-T for non-Motown fans), a top salary, and also believe he’s finished in ‘The Windy City’. But nothing is gained by taking demands public …

The problem with respect: Ben Gordon and Chicago's dysfunctional negotiations

Warning: Ben Gordon has used “respect”, “best paid player”, and “last game” in the same contract negotiations. Situation is highly volatile. Proceed with caution.

Gordon is a perfect example why athletes shouldn’t publicly discuss contracts. Agents should muzzle clients or, at a minimum, teach them “no comment”.

Players never help negotiations because they often mix emotion with business. For example, Gordon, when looking for a long-term extension last summer, demanded Chicago show him “respect”. His saga distracted the team and contributed to those nasty Kobe Bryant trade rumours. Today, reports surfaced he wants to be the team’s highest earner, but doesn’t believe he’ll ever again wear a Bulls uniform.

Don’t get it twisted. Privately, Gordon, as a restricted free agent, can ask for his Aretha Franklins (that means R-E-S-P-E-C-T for non-Motown fans), a top salary, and also believe he’s finished in ‘The Windy City’.  But nothing is gained by taking demands public.

Suppose he returns to Chicago for the 2008-09 season. He’ll feel slighted by the length of negotiations. Perhaps, he takes this slight on-court and has another sub par season.

Then there is Luol Deng. He’ll feel frustrated by his co-star, Gordon, demanding to be paid like the star. Folks, in-and-out of the locker room, will wonder who exactly leads the Bulls’ ensemble cast.

Gordon’s negotiating style has backed the team in a corner. Now consider that he wants to be Chicago’s highest paid player even though he’s a scorer, his team missed the playoffs, and they have depth at guard.

Not surprisingly, we are at an impasse.

Gordon’s tactics have also reduced the likelihood of a sign-and-trade. Thanks to his public approach other teams are familiar with the situation and, for a number of reasons, probably won’t meet his terms in an offer sheet.

They’ll also lowball Chicago when talking trade. The Bulls already have Larry Hughes, Kirk Hinrich, and Derek Rose at the one and two spots, so they won’t accept any old offer for Gordon.  

Don’t be surprised if we are still at an impasse in a few months.

Like I said, agents should muzzle clients or teach them to drop a “no comment”. Hopefully, Gordon, wherever he ends up, will learn.

What do you think of the Gordon saga? Will he stay in Chicago or get  traded? What is fair compensation? Get at us in the comment box and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of wearing trousers.