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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

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 who wants to explore other opportunities with another company, when someone flirts with the idea of leaving for what they perceive to be 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 in playing with the New Orleans Hornets.

“Phoenix is just where my heart is now,” Gordon told the media after he signed a contract offer with the Suns last summer.

Gordon did manage a quick recovery through the media once New Orleans matched the offer when he claimed he was happy to remain in New Orleans, however, by that point, the damage was already 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 percent,” Gordon told the media last week. “I was nowhere near in shape, I’m still not at 100 percent today. I’m still just battling through it.”

Never the most athletic guard, Gordon now seems to be 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 on Sunday saw Kyle Lowry stuff his shot. His layup attempt – if you can call it that – barely saw him get enough space between his feet and the floor to stuff a phonebook.

There were the 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.

As Eric Koreen tweeted during the game on Sunday, “Eric Gordon has the body language of a man on death row.”

Things weren’t much better after the game.

After the game Monty Williams wasn’t 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.

“Today 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 lurking next week it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see both sides part ways via a deadline deal.

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

Ryan McNeill
Ryan McNeill has appeared on ESPN Radio, MTV Canada, SiriusXM, The Fan 590 and other radio programs and TV shows. He has covered the NBA with media credentials since the 2007-08 season.
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