Eric Gordon

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For other people named Eric Gordon, see Eric Gordon (disambiguation).
Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon Hornets.jpg
Gordon with the Hornets
No. 10 – New Orleans Pelicans
Position Shooting guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1988-12-25) December 25, 1988 (age 25)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school North Central (Indianapolis, Indiana)
College Indiana (2007–2008)
NBA draft 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Clippers
Pro career 2008–present
Career history
20082011 Los Angeles Clippers
2011–present New Orleans Hornets / Pelicans
Career highlights and awards

Eric Ambrose Gordon, Jr. (born December 25, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In high school, he was named "Mr. Basketball" of Indiana during his senior year while playing at North Central High School. He is known, in part, as the subject of a major recruiting battle between the University of Illinois and Indiana University in the spring and summer of 2006; because of Gordon's talent and high level of play that year, his recruitment was the subject of a great deal of media coverage.

Gordon played one season of college basketball at Indiana[1] and was considered one of the top collegiate players in the nation that year.[2] He finished his freshman season leading the Big Ten in scoring and tied for 19th in the nation at 21.5 points per game.[3] Gordon entered the 2008 NBA Draft and was selected seventh overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. Gordon is represented by agent Rob Pelinka.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Indianapolis,[5] Gordon began playing sports at the YMCA at four, playing soccer, and then moved quickly on to basketball. He also played football but his true love was basketball. At the age of 7 he began playing competitive basketball at the historical Municipal Gardens. He spent much of his time across the street from his home at the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis, where he played basketball, swam and hung out with friends. It was at the JCC that Gordon announced his departure from college to enter his name into the NBA Draft.

High school[edit]

Gordon in 2007 as a high school basketball player.

Gordon played high school basketball at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He led North Central to the Indiana 4A title game his senior year. However, they fell to E'Twaun Moore, Angel Garcia and East Chicago Central. He averaged 29 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 57.0% from the field, 77.9% from the free throw line, and 46.2% from three-point range. Gordon was also named Indiana's "Mr. Basketball" for 2007 as well as a McDonald's All-American. Gordon was a teammate of Greg Oden in Indiana AAU ball. He was ranked as the nation's #2 high school prospect in the class of 2007 by Rivals.com, behind Michael Beasley.[6]

Gordon graduated in 2007 from North Central High School, in Indianapolis. He attended the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township. He began his elementary years at Fox Hill Elementary which is located down the street from his childhood home. He then, moved on to Northview Middle School which is located on the same property as his high school, North Central High School. There he played varsity all four years for the NC Panthers. North Central's 2007 game against Loyola Academy of Wilmette, Illinois, attended by Michael Jordan, was aired on ESPN. He scored a record high of 43 points that night. He later went on to score 50 points twice during the season.

During the summer, Gordon would attend many AAU tournaments, Adidas Superstar camps and, Big Time in Las Vegas. He played on teams which included other NBA players: Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Jr., Josh McRoberts, Daequan Cook and Derrick Rose. Playing with all these talented standouts made Gordon push himself to get better.

During his senior year of high school, Gordon led his team to the state finals averaging 29 points per game; however, they fell short and became the runners-up to East Chicago. He earned various honors that year. He became Indiana Player of the Year, Mr. Basketball 2007, and Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year 2007. He was McDonald All-American and Michael Jordan Brand All-American. He earned a spot as a Parade First Team All-American[7] and USA Today First Team All-American.[8] Although, Gordon was heavily recruited by many schools he made a verbal commitment to the University of Illinois. Upon coaching changes at Indiana University he later signed his letter of intent with Indiana University.

Recruitment[edit]

After making an early verbal commitment in late 2005, Gordon's recruitment was frequently discussed in the summer of 2006, as his contact with Indiana University led to frequent rumors that he intended to renege on his original commitment to the University of Illinois. Gordon's recruitment was particularly high-profile because of his high level of play in summer tournaments and the high ranking given to him by major recruiting services.

On November 30, 2005,[9] during his junior year of high school, Gordon made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Bruce Weber at the University of Illinois, selecting the Illini over overtures from Duke and Notre Dame.[10] Gordon and his family cited their comfort with Bruce Weber, the location of Illinois' campus, and the success of former Illini guards Deron Williams and Luther Head in the NBA as reasons for their decision.[11]

On February 15, 2006, Sports Illustrated reported that Mike Davis, then the head coach at Indiana University, intended to resign after the 2005–06 season, due in part to a lack of support after the team failed to make the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2005.[12] Indiana subsequently hired Kelvin Sampson as the new men's basketball coach in March 2006.[13] Some reporters speculated that Gordon was uninterested in playing at Indiana under Mike Davis because of Davis' lack of success.[11] Shortly after Sampson was named head coach at Indiana, he hired Jeff Meyer, Eric Gordon Sr.'s college basketball coach and a longtime family friend, as an assistant.[14]

During the subsequent offseason, Gordon was recruited by Sampson's staff after Gordon told Sampson he was still interested in Indiana. It was rumored in July 2006 that Gordon had decided to vacate his verbal commitment because of concerns about the strength of Illinois' incoming class,[15] but Gordon stated that although he was a childhood fan of the Hoosiers and was considering Indiana, he was still committed to Illinois.[16] That month, Gordon played with Derrick Rose, another top-5 recruit, in an attempt to convince Rose to join him at Illinois.[17]

Rumors of an impending decommitment continued into the start of the 2006–07 academic year, fueled in part by Gordon's rise to the top of some services' rankings of high school basketball players.[18] On September 2, 2006, Gordon and Rose made an unofficial visit to Indiana to scrimmage with current Hoosier players,[19] fueling further speculation that Gordon would switch his commitment. Six weeks later, on October 13, 2006, Eric Sr. announced that his son had officially decided to change his commitment.[20] Gordon signed a National Letter of Intent with Indiana on November 8, 2006.[21]

Aftermath[edit]

Gordon's announcement gave Indiana a very strong 2007 recruiting class, ranked by some analysts as the third-best incoming class in the country.[22] Kelvin Sampson and Bruce Weber both received criticism from fellow coaches for failing to communicate with one another about Gordon's recruitment.[23] Although the NCAA does not regulate verbal commitments or the recruitment of orally committed players, some observers have stated that Sampson had acted unethically in recruiting a committed player without first contacting Weber.[24]

The timing of the switch was particularly damaging for Illinois, which had expected Gordon to be part of its class and was left without a shooting guard at a time when most other guards had made verbal commitments.[25] The Illini received a letter of intent from top 100 shooting guard Quinton Watkins of Compton, California, the following December,[26] but, due to NCAA Academic Clearinghouse issues, he would not play for the Illini, eventually deciding to enroll, briefly, at San Diego State.[27]

Gordon was warmly welcomed by Indiana fans, but received sharp criticism from Illinois fans for the timing of his decommitment and his previous statements about his college destination. Eric Sr. stated in October 2006 that his son had received death threats as a result of his decision,[28] although his son later stated that Illinois fans had only said they did not want the younger Gordon to be successful.[29] On February 7, 2008, Gordon and Indiana played Illinois in Champaign; Gordon and his family were the targets of loud booing and taunting throughout the game, and some witnesses reported that the Gordon parents were hit with ice and orange and blue beads near the game's end.[30] Illinois' athletic director, Ron Guenther, apologized for the incident, calling fan behavior "disappointing and intolerable."[31] Illinois fans were reportedly particularly outraged that the Gordon family, and its entourage, wore "Got Gordon?" t-shirts, a paean to the Got Milk? campaign.

College career[edit]

Gordon attended college at Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington Indiana. There, Gordon at 6’3” played a shooting guard with the Indiana Hoosiers for one year. While attending he planned to study Sports Management. During that year Eric attained many honors. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and made the 3rd team All-American. He is the all time leading scorer for freshman at IU. He set a record at IU and in the Big Ten for scoring 669 points. He was also a candidate for the Wooden Award and Naismith Award. He was also name second team All-American for CBSSports.com. During his freshman year Gordon average 20.9 points. Gordon’s jersey was the number 23 which he also wore in high school. Now he wears the No. 10. The number 10 was his original grade school number, and the age his game really took off.

Gordon finished his freshman season averaging 20.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, making 33.7% of his three-point shots and leading the Big Ten in scoring.[32] Gordon was highly effective for Indiana in its first 18 games as the Hoosiers started the season with 17 wins and only one loss. However, he entered into a noticeable shooting slump at the end of the year,[33] making only 18.6% of his three-point field goal attempts (13 of 70) after Indiana's February 7 win against Illinois[32] and shooting only 3 of 15 from the field and 0 of 6 from the three-point line in the team's loss to Arkansas in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.[34] Gordon played the second half of the season with an injured wrist.[35]

On March 10, 2008 Gordon was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and to the First Team of the Big Ten Conference by the coaches and media, along with his teammate D. J. White. He was also a 3rd Team All-American.[36]

College statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2007-08 Indiana 32 32 34.7 .433 .337 .834 3.3 2.4 1.3 0.6 20.9
Career 32 32 34.7 .433 .337 .834 3.3 2.4 1.3 0.6 20.9

NBA career[edit]

Los Angeles Clippers (2008–2011)[edit]

2008–2009[edit]

Gordon announced on April 4, 2008 at 4:00pm at the Jewish Community Center that he would enter the 2008 NBA Draft.[37] ESPN analyst Chad Ford ranked Gordon as one of the top ten players in this draft class.[38] He was drafted with the seventh pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Gordon scored 23 points in his first NBA Summer League game in the Las Vegas summer league on the campus of UNLV. Gordon played in two summer league games where he averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds. Gordon injured his hamstring July 12 against the Charlotte Bobcats. It was confirmed on July 13, 2008 by the Clippers that Gordon would miss the rest of summer league due to a strained left hamstring.

However, at the start of the 2008 NBA pre-season, Gordon made his offensive prowess known in only his second exhibition game, scoring 33 points in 31 minutes to help the Clippers defeat the Sacramento Kings 116–112.[39] On January 23, he set a Clippers franchise record for most points scored by a rookie with 41 points (a record since broken by Blake Griffin).[40] With Gordon's exceptional performance, he was named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January. He averaged 16.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals in 34.3 minutes per game and was the third leading scorer among all rookies. For his efforts, he was unanimously selected to the All-Rookie Second Team and finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting.

2009–2010[edit]

Gordon participated in the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend. During the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend, Gordon and DeMar DeRozan went head-to-head in the inaugural Sprite All-Star Slam Dunk-In, which took place at halftime of the Rookie Challenge. The fans went on to choose DeRozan as their vote to advance to the main event, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Gordon was also selected to the sophomore team for the 2010 T-Mobile NBA Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam event.

Gordon finished second on his team with 16.9 points, averaged 2.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists in a team-high 36.0 minutes. He appeared in 62 games, and started in 60 games. He led his team in scoring 16 times, steals 17 times and minutes 16 times. Gordon scored 30+ points one time and had 20+ points 19 times. He was one of 27 players named to 2010-12 USA Men’s National Team Program.

2010–2011[edit]

After winning the gold medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, Gordon was geared towards a breakout season. Gordon was on a scoring tear earlier in the season but was slowed down in his game against the Golden State Warriors, with a hard foul committed by Andris Biedriņš, which forced Gordon (who was averaging 24.1 points per game before the injury) to be sidelined for 18 games. It was later revealed that Gordon had a sprained wrist with a bone chip fracture. Returning from an 18-game absence, Gordon had a solid performance with a win against the Houston Rockets with 24 points. Gordon re-aggravated his sprained wrist the second game back against the Denver Nuggets, this time a hard foul committed by Timofey Mozgov, which gave Gordon a 6-game absence. Gordon's breakout season was hampered by injuries and he had to wear a wristband for the remainder of the season.

Gordon finished the season as the Clippers' second leading scorer, with 22.3 points per game. He also averaged 2.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Gordon scored 30+ points 8 times and had a streak of 20 or more points for 12 consecutive games.

New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans (2011–present)[edit]

2011–2012[edit]

On December 14, 2011, the Clippers traded Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and a 2012 first-round pick (previously acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves) to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Chris Paul and two future second-round picks.[41] In his first ever game as a Hornet, playing against the Phoenix Suns, Gordon recorded 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He also hit the game winning shot with 4.2 seconds remaining, and New Orleans defeated the Suns in the season opener 85-84. It was revealed that Gordon had a pre-existing knee injury that he aggravated during the opening game of the season against the Phoenix Suns after bumping knees with Grant Hill. Initially Gordon was diagnosed with having a bone bruise, but after further examinations by doctors, it was determined that Gordon had cartilage damage in his right knee. On February 14, 2012, Eric Gordon underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his knee and was out of action for 6 weeks. Gordon returned on April 4, 2012 to face the Denver Nuggets and scored 15 points giving the New Orleans Hornets a 94-92 victory.

Gordon finished the season with 9 games played, averaging 20.6 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game. He entered the summer of 2012 as a restricted free agent.

On July 11, 2012, Gordon signed an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns reportedly worth $58 million for 4 years.[42] On July 14, 2012, the Hornets matched the 4 year offer sheet.[43]

2012–2013[edit]

During the offseason, Gordon admitted that he faced lingering problems with his knee. Microfracture surgery was reportedly proposed as a solution, but in early November, Gordon received a second opinion from a doctor in Chicago, who prescribed continued rehab for his knee and estimated that Gordon would miss 4–6 weeks.[44] On November 7, 2012, Gordon was sent to Los Angeles to get more personalized rehabilitation work to help in his knee recovery and to strengthen his quad muscles.

On December 29, 2012, Gordon made his highly anticipated season debut against the Charlotte Bobcats. Gordon, coming off the bench, scored 24 points, 7 assists and 2 steals in less than 25 minutes, giving the New Orleans Hornets a 98-95 win over the Bobcats. Team doctors placed Gordon on strict restrictions from playing in the second game of back-to-back sets and from playing over 30 minutes to avoid overworking his right knee. On January 5, 2013, Gordon returned to the starting lineup. Gordon hit the game-winner from the top of the circle with 4.7 seconds left after drawing a foul on Mavericks guard Darren Collison, who bit on Gordon's pump fake as the New Orleans Hornets edged the Dallas Mavericks 99-96 in overtime. On April 10, 2013, Gordon played his first back-to-back set of the season against the Sacramento Kings after he was cleared by team doctors for his restrictions to be lifted.

Gordon finished the season as the Hornets' leading scorer, with 17.0 points per game, 1.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in 42 games played. On April 2013, the Hornets were renamed the New Orleans Pelicans.

2013–2014[edit]

On November 29, 2013, Gordon recorded 26 points and 7 assists in a 121-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. On January 15, 2014, Gordon recorded 35 points, on 11-for-17 shooting from the field, and 6 assists, in a 100-103 loss to the Houston Rockets. On March 4, 2014, Gordon scored 28 points and was 9-for-13 from the field, including 4-for-5 on threes, and made each of his six attempts from the free throw line. His all-around offense sparked the Pelicans to a 132-125 road win and ended an eight-game losing skid.[45]

On March 21, 2014, Gordon left the game in the first quarter against the Hawks. It was later ruled he had knee tendinitis. On April 10, 2014, it was ruled that Gordon will have arthroscopic surgery performed on his left knee, which brought his season to a close.[46]

Gordon finished the 2013–14 season averaging 15.4 points per game, 2.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in 64 games, the most contests he’s played in since his rookie NBA season with the Clippers.[47]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 L.A. Clippers 78 65 34.3 .456 .389 .854 2.6 2.8 1.0 .4 16.1
2009–10 L.A. Clippers 62 60 36.0 .449 .371 .742 2.6 3.0 1.1 .2 16.9
2010–11 L.A. Clippers 56 56 37.4 .450 .364 .825 2.9 4.4 1.3 .3 22.3
2011–12 New Orleans 9 9 34.4 .450 .250 .754 2.8 3.4 1.4 .4 20.6
2012–13 New Orleans 42 40 30.1 .402 .324 .842 1.8 3.3 1.1 .2 17.0
2013–14 New Orleans 64 64 32.1 .436 .391 .785 2.6 3.3 1.2 .2 15.4
Career 311 294 34.1 .442 .368 .809 2.5 3.3 1.1 .3 18.0

Career highs[edit]

Regular season[edit]