Sunday, 08 July 2012 15:53

Hornets Eric Gordon, Saints and the curious NFL, NBA differences

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jim-millerI can't say I understand much about the NBA way of doing things. First, the Hornets offered Eric Gordon a four-year, $50 million extension which he turned down. I understand that. Then he shops himself as a restricted free agent and gets an offer from Phoenix for four years at $59 million. I understand that. Then after signing the offer, he proceeds to proclaim feverishly that his heart is in Phoenix and what a great owner and great management and great coaches, and he can't wait to get started. Understandable.


     Less understandable is that several days later,
Gordon took it a bit further, saying he feels disrespected (don't you love that crutch?) by the Hornets who have not shown him the love. Now, call me a skeptic, but I can give you about 59 million reasons that Hornet love soon will come calling on little cat feet. The Hornets have said all along that, Anthony Davis notwithstanding, Gordon is their cornerstone for the future. You don't say that about Maggie the Rag Lady. You say that about somebody you want to share an arena with for the next four years.

     I can understand spoiled brat athletes who have been deified their entire lives, and the first time somebody fails to bow in their path, they are offended. What I do not understand is why the Suns would go to the trouble? Don't the people at the Suns know the Hornets will match the offer? This information breakdown might have occurred two months from now after the local rag has downsized to three days per week. But not now. The Suns had to know the Hornets' intentions and you would think they would save themselves the trouble.

     Unless there is a conspiracy afoot. What if the Suns and Hornets officials colluded, agreeing on a price for the offer sheet which the Hornets match? The Hornets have their player, the player has another $9 million over four years, but what do the Suns get? Future considerations? Eternal and undying respect and appreciation from a fellow franchise? Puzzling! This would never happen in the NFL where the front office guys and scouts operate on the adrenaline of paranoia. If Team A falls in love with a restricted free agent so much that it wants to make him an offer, you can bet the offer will be of such magnitude or structure that Team B could only match it at great peril to itself. 

     This all goes to show that these NBA guys are different. The Hornets needed to sign a key player, and another team stepped up to help them do it. The Saints need to sign their key player, and he remains unsigned, out beyond the Pale of law suits, grievances and eternal acrimony. Maybe a key in the two leagues' differences is to look at their respective commissioners. David Stern is pudgy, bubbly and, as he proved on draft night, can be the straight man in a roomful of zanies. Roger Goodell wants to be Darth Vader, at least according to Saints fans.

     The differences between the two leagues get curiouser and curiouser! 

by Jim Miller, former Exec. VP of the New Orleans Saints (Photo above, Jim Miller)

His new book, "Where the Water Kept Rising," is now available in local bookstores and at his website:



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