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Monday, May 20
The Indiana Daily Student

Gordon: A mix of NBA talents

Let me begin by asking that you not ridicule me for not knowing Eric Gordon’s wingspan (6-feet-9) or exact height and weight (6-foot-3, 215 pounds). Please give me leeway to continue without offering an opinion on who will take the young man (Milwaukee).\nNo, I am here because I have been tasked with picking out a current NBA player who bears the most similarity to Indianapolis’ latest favored son, and giving you all reasons why I’m right, basically.\nWell, I’ll be honest with you – I’m copping out. I’ve given this thought off and on at my leisure a few times since the North Central product began gracing soft, white nets with basketballs bearing an NCAA logo on their face, and I honestly just don’t know.\nI see Gordon’s ability to light up opposing defenses from a long way past the 3-point line and my eyes detect shades of Baron Davis. They only get stronger when I see Gordon hit the droughts that Davis has struggled with in times past.\nYet I can’t imagine Gordon as a true combo guard, and that’s where I buy into the popular rhetoric that suggests Gordon is much like a gentleman by the same surname. Bulls fans know him as Ben.\nAs much as I’d like to think Eric Gordon can learn to pass the ball, I can’t imagine him being able to break himself of the urge to use his immense offensive talents to score rather than facilitate scoring. I’d also like to go on record as being the first to call any coach who might force E.J. to do otherwise incredibly stupid.\nBut alas, Indiana Gordon is a far more forceful – and far less selfish – offensive player than his Chicago counterpart. Gordon’s ability to force his way to the basket off the dribble either way sets him apart. \nIn that aspect of his game, I see Gordon comparing most favorably to a poor man’s Lebron James – the obvious difference being James has a much higher rate of conversion once he reaches the hoop. Gordon shoots free throws just fine though, so that will cover him. \nQuick note: STOP READING, and whatever you do, resist the urge to criticize me for the above passage. Please do not take these last words to mean that I think Eric Gordon is the next Lebron James, I said no such thing. I simply said Gordon’s ability to beat a man off the dribble and force his way into the lane reminded me of King James. The comparisons stop there. \nThere are obviously severe weaknesses in Gordon’s game, not the least of which is his propensity for turning the ball over. I’m not so worried about his ability to travel with a high rate of footsteps. A good friend of mine long ago pointed out that NBA officials are as interested in calling a travel as first-graders are in the Biography Channel.\nHowever, that Kobe Bryant-esque ability to turn a foxtrot into the L.A. two-step must be earned through respect for one’s ability, which comes through success. Translation: Gordon will need to play by the rules before he gets good enough to earn those kinds of calls.\nThere are also several other weaknesses to Gordon’s ball-handling ability that will plague him until he tweaks his mechanics enough to where he can confidently move both ways with the ball without letting it become too exposed to defenders. It won’t take Bruce Bowen to eat him alive in a league that – despite players’ preference for taking a play or two off – will still hit Gordon with better defense than the Big Ten ever could. \nI don’t count Eric Gordon out, oh no. I think he’ll be a fine player, if not an undersized guard. To make one more comparison, he’ll be Jason Terry with more size and less spunk.\nYes, I think our former No. 23 will find plenty of success at the NBA level. I think it will just take him a little while to grow – he’s only 19, as someone named Kelvin reminded us – and he has plenty of time to polish the edges down.\nUntil then, consider him the next King Benron James-Terry. Hey, Benjarvis Green-Ellis did it; I can too.

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