The Curious Case Of Benjamin Gordon

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Now that the season has ended for the Chicago Bulls I’m left wondering how many times Ben Gordon has thought about the $50 million dollars that he turned down…twice! With his career here in Chicago possibly over due to contract disputes with management, it’s hard to imagine that over the course of this past season that he hasn’t thought about all that money he said no to at least once. My guess is by now he’s probably thought about it oh, I’d say at least 50 million times already! Here’s why.

I truly believe — and have seen with my own eyes — that Ben Gordon has just as much confidence in himself and his abilities at the two guard spot as Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. He’s led the Bulls in scoring 4 of his 5 years in Chicago and when a guy does that, when contract time rolls around he’s usually rewarded with a deal that makes him the team’s highest paid player. Gordon however is the unfortunate exception to that rule. The highest paid player on the Bulls is Luol Deng, the second highest is Kirk Hinrich. Ben Gordon wants to be paid more than both of those guys. And in all fairness, based on his regular season numbers over the years and especially with his performance in the playoffs this year against the Boston Celtics, he should be the highest paid player on the team. But he’s got quite a few things working against him that’s probably going to prevent that from happening on the Bulls or any other team in the league if he does decide to leave the “City of Wind” this summer.

First are his problems on the court. He’s an undersized two guard that’s a liability defensively. Sure he can give a guy 30 on any given night, but he’ll also give up 30 (or more) on any given night. Also, outside of Chicago I don’t think there’s another team in the league that sees him as their starting two guard for the next 5 or 6 years. Most GM’s feel he has more value coming off the bench as a sixth man but he’s made it very clear during his time with the Bulls that he feels he’s a starter in the league and he’s not happy with coming off the bench. Secondly are his problems off the court. The main thing working against him right now is the coveted free agent class of 2010. With the big prize being LeBron James and teams also coveting guys like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudamire, Yao Ming & Dirk Nowitzki, it’s unfathomable to think that a team would be willing to throw big bucks at a guy like Ben Gordon. Especially if it means taking themselves out of the race for one of the guys that I just mentioned. Then there’s the issue of the luxury tax which is the main reason why the Bulls didn’t offer him the same money as Luol Deng. Sure he’s a great scorer, but if you’re the GM of an NBA team would you be willing to cross over into the luxury tax threshold to sign him? I don’t think so.

I openly blasted him on this blog and called him the dumbest athlete in professional sports for turning down the Bulls first offer of 5 years, $50 million and then their second offer of 6 years, $58 million. Even Gilbert Arenas said on his blog that when a team offers that kind of money you should take it. I also said that his next contract wasn’t going to be anywhere near the two deals the Bulls offered and that was just based on his value as a player. Then the recession hit! Now teams are cutting back any way that they can and the NBA in February secured a $200 million loan to help offset operating losses for half of its 30 teams. All of these things spell disaster for Ben Gordon receiving the kind of payday he was hoping for this summer.

So what’s next for the pride of Mt. Vernon, NY? I guess we’ll find out in a few months, but the one lesson that we can all learn from this and the one that Ben Gordon is going to unfortunately have to learn the hard way is this. Unless your agent is Jerry Maguire, the “Show Me The Money” tactic only works in the movies.

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3 Responses

  1. Well, Ben Gordon’s agent may not be Jerry Maguire but he showed him the money didn’t he;) 5/55 is the kind of offer Ben has obviously felt he was deserving of! …And he got it from Detroit.

    Congrats and Good Luck Ben!!!

    Chicago will miss your clutch shots…but we will get back to being a championship caliber team one day soon!!!

    Joy

  2. Well, Ben Gordon’s agent may not be Jerry Maguire but he showed him the money didn’t he;) 5/55 is the kind of offer Ben has obviously felt he is deserving of! …And he got it from Detroit.

    Congrats and Good Luck Ben!!!

    Chicago will miss your clutch shots…but we will get back to being a championship caliber team one day soon!!!

    Joy

  3. I went to elementry and middle school with him and he is very talented and devoted to the gmae. He will do just fine.

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