Friday , Oct , 03 , 2008 J.N.

Ben Gordon: The End of the Saga

Ben Gordon: The End of the Saga
After an entire offseason of drama, Ben Gordon officially signs the one year offer of $6.4 million to become an unrestricted free agent for the 2009 off season. Ben Gordon’s agent, Raymond Brothers (who also negotiated for Zach Randolph), has been arguing that Gordon is the leading scorer for 3 out of the 4 seasons he’s been there; Eddy Curry was the leading scorer in Gordon’s rookie year

I know there’s more to Brother’s argument because remember not everything gets reported.

I can picture Brothers saying to Jerry Reinsdorf, “My client also trains hard and has been professional since he’s been here. Not once did he complain to the media nor did he sulk when your coaches Scott Skiles and Jim Boylan was screwing him with his playing time and role.”

And I can’t blame Ben one bit. I would be mad, too. Reading around various message boards, BG7 always had tremendous heat even dating back to his rookie year. It’s great that he has thick skin to not go to the press and mention “it’s all about respect.”

Of course, he knew the entire time that he was going to take the one year qualifying offer. He used all the time he could to get a better deal from Reinsdorf and that didn’t happen. A 6 year/$59 million deal is a lot for us common folks (now reported 6/$54-$55 million), but for guys with an inflated sense of self-worth, it certainly isn’t. And there’s nothing wrong with that; all people from all walks of life have tremendous pride.

Go get yours, young man.
Bulls fans all around think he’s greedy and that he doesn’t want to be a Chicago Bull. I’m a huge fan of the Bulls since 1989 but if they treated me that way, I wouldn’t want to be on the team either. Was money an issue in this? Of course! Yet there are other factors in why he didn’t sign the long term deal:

1) He had enough of embracing the 6th man role.
2) No trades were made to clear out the guard glut. BG emphasized this throughout the summer and nothing was done to make certain of the playing time.
3) He’s been dicked around from previous coaches despite training hard and playing well. At times, he performed like a superstar.
4) Skiles didn’t give Gordon a chance to develop his point guard skills as the backup PG behind Hinrich. He gave all the minutes to Chris Duhon who is no longer with the team.

The moral of the Saga:
With all that combined, his morale was extremely low to sign. He wasn’t enthused so that’s why he wanted more money because money cures a lot of things. I’ve seen a lot during my life so far to see that when these conditions happen to a person, they’re cautious to negotiate. If anything, they don’t even want to come back. John Paxson, or any GM, should never ever select a guy with the 3rd pick in any draft to make him your 6th man.

Fans are currently nitpicking BG’s actions for being unprofessional because he attended the first 2 practices, but didn’t participate. Much ado about nothing I say. He wasn’t signed to any deal. He didn’t have a contract so he wasn’t going to get paid for the work he’s going to put in. If he practiced then he’s working for free. This isn’t college. This is the NBA; where it’s just business.

Where players get paid.

The Ben Gordon saga is a perfect representation of what happens to Joe Six-Pack Working Stiff (just not with the millions of dollars involved). Pretend your boss has screwed you royally over 4 years even though you busted your ass for him barely complaining. Now you want a raise. He does give you a raise, but not much compared to the other guys he favored who are probably worse than you. He likes them so much that he’s blind to their negatives.

After all of this, BG7 is a combo guard nonetheless. Sorry. You get paid more according to height unless you’re Chris Paul or Allen Iverson. Nope, you can’t trade him this year either because he has to agree to the trade (veto power) while not losing Bird Rights.

This coming from a Bulls fan: Go get yours, young man. Go get that money you feel you deserve. You have that right.

So it’s very likely the Chicago Bulls will lose the 3rd pick in the draft for nothing. If that happens, Pax should consider leaving with BG out of Chicago. Pax also messed up when he publically said that he can’t make moves until the BG situation is resolved. He gave a player power to dictate what he can/can’t do. Nothing was done in the off season because of this. BG exploited that by signing the qualifying offer at the very last minute. Pax should have stayed quiet. This is Pax’s fault, not Gordon’s. The GM should always be in power.

Interesting notes:
Jerry Reinsdorf is the same owner who said to Michael Jordan before MJ signed his $30 million dollar season, “Somewhere down the road, I might live to regret this (Mindgames by Roland Lazenby, page 242).”

He also said, “Organizations win championships, not players.”

One more thing, he once said he would trade all of the Bulls’ six titles for one Chicago White Sox title.