As Dunlap led the Bobcats in a morning shootaround on Monday before a victory over the Celtics, Gordon refused Dunlap’s request to stop bouncing a ball as the coach spoke, sources said. Before long, Gordon began baiting Dunlap, telling him that he needed to “humble himself,” sources said.
Gordan refused to give the ball to Dunlap, and eventually tossed it toward a ball rack, sources said.
Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins was in the practice session and ultimately intervened, sources said.
“Beyond disrespectful,” was how one league source described the scene.
Wojnarowski had this report in February 2011 on a certain other former Pistons shooting guard who was at the time, like Gordon currently is in Charlotte right now, struggling:
As stunned coaches and teammates watched, Hamilton bellowed at Kuester that he had been a failure in his two seasons in Detroit, blown the opportunity the franchise afforded him and was nothing more than a career assistant coach, sources said. Despite Hamilton yelling within inches of him, Kuester didn’t respond.
Several of the team’s younger players were mortified watching it and privately told agents and associates they wished they had the courage to stand up, confront Hamilton and try to take control back from the disgruntled veteran.
A couple of things immediately stood out to me about this report. First, although Gordon never seemed to express his displeasure in a disruptive way in Detroit, at least to this extent, I’m even more glad he’s gone, even if the price to get rid of him was a steep one.
But second and more importantly, contrast how those situations were handled. According to Wojnarowski’s report, Charlotte’s GM immediately intervened on behalf of his coach.
In Detroit, Joe Dumars offered very little (or some would say ‘no’) public support for the coach at the time. As we saw, the locker room friction between players and coach continued to get worse, resulting in the infamous shootaround boycott later that season.
Anyway, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Ben Gordon is terrible and no one wants him.