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Ben Gordon on last season: ‘It was just a mess’

Ben Gordon recently spoke with Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams, mostly about the lockout, but he also discussed the dysfunction of the Pistons last season:

Grantland: Last year was a tough year for the Pistons and the bottom hit with reports of players boycotting a shoot-around in protest of the former coach John Kuester. What’s the backstory behind that situation?

Gordon: “Last year, everything that possibly could have went wrong, went wrong. We had a lot of talent. There were a lot of issues in the front office, on the floor, with coaches, with players. It was just a mess. People from the outside looking in don’t realize how bad it was. It wasn’t conducive for playing basketball at a high level and it showed. It was pretty much what everybody saw. Some guys showed up to play. Some guys didn’t show up to play. Whatever point people were trying to prove by showing up or nothing showing up, those points were taken. Six guys showed up. Six guys played and a few other guys decided not to play that night. That was one of the uglier moments during the season. Moving forward, I don’t see that happening anymore. That was probably one of the lowest basketball moments I’ve ever been a part of. Because we’re all a team and we all shared that negative light. Regardless of who played that night, it was bad. But moving forward, I think the emphasis will be much different.”

That’s … wow. Here was Brian Packey’s take at Detroit Bad Boys:

There’s a lot here, including the emphasis I’ve added. We (the ‘people from the outside looking in’) were let on to believe that it was all blown out of proportion by the damn media, although I don’t think anybody actually believed that. Gordon is saying it was actually worse.

I actually respect the directness of Gordon’s answer there. As Packey pointed out, all of the boycott comments at the time were of the ‘no big deal, these things happen in a locker room, guys are passionate, etc.’ variety. It would be nice if any of those statements were true, but I think it’s pretty clear now that new coach or not, the Pistons still have serious rifts in the locker room that will need to be fixed when the lockout ends.


  • Aug 17, 20119:11 am
    by JT's Hoops Blog


    Since signing with the Pistons, Ben gordon has been a complete bust.  John Paxson must be sighing in relief for not signing that bum.  Now the Pistons are stuck paying him 30$ millions for the next three years.  It’s doubtful that the Piston could ever get their money’s worth trading him. 

    • Aug 17, 201110:06 am
      by Marvin Jones


      The reality is also that Ben and Charlie V’s first two years here were under Kuester, I have to believe that under a “real” NBA coach, one who is organized, has a plan that works and can motivate, both of these guys will play up to their potential. Neither is without talent and after Joe thins the roster a little bit I think you will see a totally different team under Frank   

  • Aug 17, 201110:15 am
    by Jason


    For someone like myself who has not given up on Charlie V and BG this actually is good news for me.  I still think these two are good players and last year was just a mess.  Nothing but better basketball should be ahead.

  • Aug 17, 201110:30 am
    by detroitpcb


    Ben Gordon’s tenure with the Pistons has been a dismal failure. Joe should move him for whatever he could get or if the new CBA allows for contract relief the Pistons should dump Gordon’s contract.

    I have gone over this before but Gordon is a terrible defensive player who cannot get over a screen, cannot guard bigger two’s because of his height, cannot stay in front of the point guards he is asked to guard because of his footspeed and lateral quickness.

    On offense he is careless with the ball and gets ripped constantly (at least once a game) for no legitimate reason. He takes high degree of difficulty shots and has never made them as a Piston. Often he fails to swing the ball on rotations when he could get a teamamte an easy shot prefering to diddle with the ball and then take a difficult shot.

    Personally i play Knight and Stuckey in the backcourt with Bynum and Rip off the bench. Ben Gordon needs to go.

  • Aug 17, 201110:36 am
    by detroitpcb


    and if Rip is not on the team, i play Daye some at the 2 guard allowing JJ (and Singler) some time at the three. This assumes that Prince & T-Mac do not come back.

    • Aug 17, 201110:39 am
      by Jason


      Get ready to lose again with Daye, JJ and Singler all getting big minutes.

      • Aug 17, 201111:17 am
        by neutes


        We’re going to lose again with Rip, Gordon, and CV all getting minutes anyway. What’s the difference?

        • Aug 17, 201111:28 am
          by Jason


          Probably Rip or Gordon will be gone.  But I completely disagree with you. CV may be gone too cause we have so many PF’s

  • Aug 17, 201111:38 am
    by Jodi Jezz


    Ben Gordon is the man!!! I cant wait till next season when he can finally get his starting minutes and be that 18-21pt scorer again…Hopefully we can get some good assets back when we trade Rip and Prince(S&T)…We should include Daye and Jonas in that trade too!!

  • Aug 17, 201111:45 am
    by RyanK


    Gordon is what he is, but lets not confuse the fact that he doesn’t do anything well except shoot the basketball.  When he’s not making shots, he doesn’t give us much.  Joe D should have known this going in…it’s hard to blame Gordon for being what he has always been.
    “It would be nice if any of those statements were true, but I think it’s pretty clear now that new coach or not, the Pistons still have serious rifts in the locker room that will need to be fixed when the lockout ends.”
    I’m not sure there’s going to be a rift in the locker room this season.  Having a real owner around will make a big difference.  If Bill Davidson would have been sitting over there watching the games from his normal seat, this stuff never would have happened.  Good trade, bad trade, these guys would be gone long before these issues came to such a head.  Believe me, knowing the owner has his eyeballs on you changes the way people act in any environment.

    • Aug 17, 201112:23 pm
      by Jason


      He doesn’t do that bad getting to the hoop.

  • Aug 17, 201112:19 pm
    by kamal


    Is Gordon saying that he came to play every night?  Sure didn’t look that way to me.  I’m glad he is such a professional, because I’d hate to see his version of “dogging” it.

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