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Jerry Reinsdorf: Ben Gordon would have had a diminished role if he returned to the Bulls

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf knocked Ben Gordon’s game in a recent interview. (Hat tip: TrueHoop) From Brian Hanley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Question: What do you think of Ben Gordon’s signing as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons?

Answer: Actually, we made a decision a year ago not to commit long term to Ben. We tried, and he turned it down. Then, near the end, [now GM] Gar Forman and John [Paxson] decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to make a long-term decision. We wanted to see what other options might develop. So we withdrew the offer [six years, $54 million] we had on the table. Ben ultimately said he would take it, but it was too late.

Now, fast forward to the end of the year, we have [John] Salmons and we have a hell of a three-guard rotation with [Kirk] Hinrich and Derrick [Rose]. Ben wasn’t going to get a whole lot of playing time. [It] was going to be diminished. So Ben really no longer fit. Ben’s a terrific player. But Ben needs minutes. He would not have been happy with the minutes he was going to get.


You may not have wanted to pay him as much as Detroit did. But if he was back the Bulls, he definitely would have gotten he his usual playing time.


  • Jul 21, 20093:01 pm
    by Lankownia


    According to PER (an offensive stat) – Rose (16) and Salmons (16) where similar to Gordon (17).  Hinrich (14) was a notch below in the regular season but actually a better player than Gordon in the playoffs (17 PER vs 16 PER).  Regardless, if you factor defensive impact in, it doesn’t seem like too much of a leap to say Gordon wouldn’t get the minutes he wanted.

  • Jul 21, 20094:31 pm
    by Vittorio De Zen


    Yeah, that’s a bit ridiculous. Of course he would have got the playing time.
    He could have talked about Ben not fitting with Derrick Rose or Ben commanding too much money and I’d kind of understand, but to say that he’d lose playing time on that team is a bit nuts.
    Anyway, I’m happy for Ben. Chicago really screwed him around over the past few years, both with playing time and with contract negotiations. Pulling that offer off the table was weak. Anyway, Ben wins in the end. Some will call him overpaid, but he earned that by playing extremely hard last year, for a team that didn’t want him.

  • Jul 22, 20094:18 am
    by Dan Feldman



    Outside of Brad Miller (27 games with the Bulls) and Cedric Simmons (11 games), Gordon had the best PER on the team.

    Seven games in the playoffs isn’t a very reliable sample size.

    And PER isn’t just a measure of offense. It’s not great at judging defense , but defense is included.

  • Jul 22, 200911:12 am
    by James


    Is there any question BG was the Bull’s most important player in the playoffs? Before he injured himself in game 4 he was amazing and he still had some very clutch plays in subsequent games. Gordon is also entering his prime for the next 5 years while Salmons is 30 and should start to decline over the next couple years.

  • Jul 22, 20093:19 pm
    by Lankownia


    Agree on sample, just saying the gap wasn’t that big between Gordon and the others in a statistic that, even if it doesn’t ignore it totally, downplays defense dramatically (as Hollinger openly admits).  Hinrich, Deng, and Salmons were all unavailable to the Bulls for much of the season.  The team presumably wants to give their SF draftpick some playing time too.  No matter how you look at it, there would be a squeeze at SG/SF, and if Gordon was unhappy with playing time last year he definitly was going to be unhappy with it moving forward.

  • Jul 22, 20093:20 pm
    by Lankownia


    Gordon looked great in the Celtics series, but the man he was guarding looked just as good.  And the Bulls lost.

  • Jul 23, 20093:47 am
    by Dan Feldman



    I the Bulls’ issues with Gordon had a lot more to do with value than production. They didn’t think he was good enough to pay the money he wanted.

    I don’t think they thought he wasn’t one of their best players. If they had signed him, value doesn’t matter during the game. The best players play.

    And Gordon would have been the best player.

  • Jul 23, 200911:59 am
    by Dwayne


    Reinsdorf got what he wanted.  He always liked Hinrich over BG.  It was very obvious when they didn’t even try to promote him for the rookie all-star game, etc..  Well, you wanted him out, you got it!  Unfortumately for Reinsdorf, he went to the Pistons.  If you didn’t like him when he was with you, Jerry, you’re gonna really hate him when he’s against you!  BG has a long memory, and loves to get up for those who challenge him.  Whether it was in HS at Mt. Vernon vs White Plains in 2000, when he put up 42 points in three quarters because of how they classlessly heckled him, or in college where along with Emeka they beat Duke on their way to a National Championship, (BG really wanted to go to Duke), there will be a lot of BG highlights vs. Chicago over the next 5 years.  But hey, don’t feel bad.  You got Kirk Hinrich!  :)

  • [...] Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s quote about the team’s decision not to make a long-term commitment to Ben Gordon? You know, when he [...]

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