It’s never a wise decision to question the legitimacy of another mans injury, but considering the circumstances surrounding this whole dilemma with Eric Gordon, it must be brought to the forefront.
Gordon played just 9 games with the New Orleans Hornets last season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He was the Hornets cornerstone of a deal that sent former franchise player Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.
In those 9 appearances, Eric averaged 20.6 points on 45% shooting from the field, as well as 2.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game.
Since entering the league back in 2008-09, Eric Gordon has missed a total of 109 games, which is equivalent to 34.9% of the games he was supposed to appear in.
His knee injury was apparently aggravated once more when he participated in the trials for the Mens USA Basketball team this past summer. Gordon did not compete in any of the Hornets preseason games. He also missed the teams opener on Halloween night, a 99-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
The reason the severity of his injuries are being questioned is because of a dispute over his contract that took place over the offseason.
Eric signed a 4-year $58 million dollar offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns back in July.
“After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible. Mr. (Robert) Sarver, Lon Babby, Lance Blanks, the Front Office Staff and Coach (Alvin) Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now.”
The Hornets eventually matched the offer, thus bringing Gordon back to the team even though he had just played 9 regular season games.
It would appear that Eric had his hearts set on being a member of the Suns. When his offer sheet was matched, it’s safe to assume that Gordon was none to pleased.
Could it be that Eric Gordon is faking the seriousness of his injuries as a way to show displeasure with the Hornets organization for keeping him? Is this all a ploy to get himself traded?
He addressed the rumours after the teams practice on November 1st.
“I know things haven’t been going as well as hoped. It’s tough as a player to go through these things. You’re looking for the best from yourself, and you look forward to doing what is best for the team. As a player, I definitely look forward to helping this franchise and always look out for the best for this team. It has been very frustrating not to be able to play.
I know from a fan’s perspective that it is very frustrating for them, but as a player it is most frustrating for me and this organization, I know it’s tough, but it’s very hard on me. This is an injury that I have battled with and it’s frustrating, because this is a great city and a great organization and I definitely want to be a part of it. Being a part of it for me is being out there playing. The reason I’m not playing is because of this injury.” (Washington Post)
As a human being, Gordon should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty of actually lying. If he’s hurt, he’s hurt. If he says he’s hurt, he probably is hurt. If the Doctors say he’s hurt, that’s just icing on the cake.
I would like to think that all basketball players have that inner drive and desire within themselves that makes them want to compete on a nightly basis. Even if he absolutely despised the team, management and everything in between, he would still play basketball at the highest level because that’s what athletes should strive to do every single day.
According to an article written by Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune, Gordon has indeed suffered more setbacks with his knees that could keep him out for the remainder of the 2012/13 season. Eric himself recently discussed the situation.
“From talking to the doctors, from when I last told you guys in September until now, I have had a little bit of a setback as far as this injury. Nothing structural, but it has been a little bit of soreness and swelling to where I’m only listening to the doctors and they can see and tell that it’s been a little damage.
I’ve had MRIs, and I went to the team and they’ve always been aware of my injury. I have had MRIs lately, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s happening this weekend to see what’s furthermore. … I will hear what the doctor’s thinking this weekend.”
That’s the reason why I’m not playing. The past three days I’ve been practicing because I thought it would be something I might have to deal with pain-wise. I went to the organization the other day and told them ‘This is not feeling too good. It’s very painful.’ We went and got another MRI.”
“I don’t know [if I'll miss the entire season]; I don’t know at all. There’s still no timetable…There’s damage. I’ll figure [it] out this weekend.”
The one thing that troubles Hornets fans about all of this is that if the team does cut ties with Gordon in the near future (they can’t wait on him forever, can they?), would he “miraculously” have a full recovery playing for another team and become the star they all pictured he would be elsewhere?
Is that a risk they should take?
I’m not saying Eric is lying, but I’m not saying he’s fully being honest either. The only people who know for sure are Eric, the doctors that are treating him, and “hopefully” the higher-ups in the organization.
For now, Eric Gordon is not healthy enough to play basketball for the Hornets.
As it looks, that may not be changing any time soon.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports