Charlotte, NC – Trade rumors are swirling around once-promising Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon after an incident on Monday morning which may be the last straw for head coach Mike Dunlap. According to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports, the $12 million a year player was disruptive and disrespectful.
As Dunlap tried to speak, Gordon continued to bounce the ball. Asked to stop, “Gordon began baiting Dunlap, telling him that he needed to ‘humble himself,’ ” say Wojnarowski’s unnamed sources.
As Scott Croker reported, the Brooklyn Nets may have recently considered swapping Kris Humphries for the combative Ben Gordon. In wake of Monday’s incident, the trade may appear less attractive, although both players are paid roughly the same salary, making the financial side of the swap fairly easy to arrange.
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer has now confirmed Wojnarowski’s report. He also reports that the Nets have shut down negotiations about the swap and are exploring other options.
The relatively young Bobcats team hasn’t been a good fit for Ben Gordon, and the incident only highlights the problem that he’s no longer a star. “He averages 12.6 points and 22 minutes off the bench in a crowd of younger guards – Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson and rookie swingman Jeff Taylor,” Bonnell reports.
Despite the conflict earlier Monday between Dunlap and Gordon, the Bobcats upset the seventh ranked Boston Celtics, 94-91, on Monday night. While technically not suspending the disruptive guard, Dunlap only put Gordon into play for 14 minutes.
The conflict with head coach Mike Dunlap, who clearly seeks to feature the younger players, won’t increase the perceived value of the $12.4 million dollar a year Ben Gordon. The incident fuels speculation that he’s no longer a team player for the Bobcats, if he ever was. It also makes it more likely that he won’t be going to the Nets.