By Scott Lauer
October 2, 2012
Scott Lauer is the radio play-by-play voice of the Charlotte Bobcats. His column will appear on bobcats.com on Thursdays throughout the season. The opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bobcats organization.
The ninth Training Camp in Bobcats history has begun in the character-filled town of Asheville, NC. On the floor, there will be five new pieces in the rotation; one being Guard Ben Gordon, who like the organization, is entering year his ninth season in the NBA.
Gordon was obtained from Detroit this summer, along with a future first round pick in exchange for Corey Maggette. Gordon is a former Bull and Piston who has impressive offensive statistics, having averaged 17 points while shooting 41 percent from the arc and 86 percent from the line in his career. His best two years were in Chicago in 2006-07 and 2008-09 when he scored over 20 ppg. His numbers were eerily similar those seasons. He shot exactly 45.5 percent from the field, and 86.4 percent from the line in both years! He also hit 41 percent of his treys each season and his assists (about 3.5) were also nearly identical.
I spoke with him at length, both during Media Day and following the first practice of camp today, and here are some of my takeaways.
– Gordon wants to have the ball in his hands when the Bobcats need a score. He’s had a knack for scoring in bunches, whether it’s starting or coming off the bench. He went out of his way to mention that he has to “earn” that opportunity, as the go-to scorer.
– He respects Coach Dunlap’s philosophy in doing the little things right as they’ll build into a successful pyramid.
– He was born in London, England to parents of Jamaican heritage. They moved to the U.S. to provide more opportunities for their family, and they eventually landed in Mount Vernon, NY.
– A natural bond has formed with Kemba Walker because the two have NYC area roots and attended UCONN.
I’ve admired Gordon’s competitive spirit, and this team is filled with it. When the Bobcats go small, they can put him at shooting guard and slide Gerald Henderson to small forward. His scoring rate per minutes played may prove to be the best that the team has had in any given season.
You can hear some of Gordon’s comments on bobcats.com next week.