Next Dwyane Wade: Eric Gordon Uses FIBA Games To Springboard His Brand

Bhemis ParksAnalyst IAugust 29, 2010

LAS VEGAS - JULY 24:  Eric Gordon #4 of the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team brings the ball up the court during a USA Basketball showcase at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 24, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Going into this summer pre-qualifications for Team USA, most of the talks were about the household names. Players likes Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose were built as the dominant forces that would lead the US to gold in the FIBA World Games. Very little was offered up by the Media in regards to the lesser known players.

Both Durant and Rose have had their moments of playing well, but for the most part they have been visibly inconsistent. In more than a couple games they have been carried by the efforts of their teammates.

So basically, this summer has been about the guys that most NBA fans don’t pay attention too on a regular basis. Quite frankly, this summer has been about the guys that weren’t supposed to make the team.

Of these unexpected contributors, probably none has shown brighter than Eric Gordon of the Los Angeles Clippers. In all honesty, the seventh pick of the 2008 NBA draft has been the most surprising as well as consistent player thus far this summer. Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose fans can argue all they want about how which player is greater. It still won’t change the fact that Eric Gordon has been the best player thus far this summer.

If you let Coach Krzyzewski of Team USA tell it, he’s done all this without even having a fair shot given to him initially. Here are the remarks Coach Krzyzewski had to say about Eric Gordon after the victory over Croatia on Sunday:

He has been consistently excellent and the guys, I know, have great confidence in him as does the staff. He probably had the hardest road to being selected for this team. He didn’t get as much playing time early and then whenever he came in, he did something really good. He’s been terrific.”



It says a lot about the effort of a player when you have the Head Coach admitting that he basically didn’t initially have an open mind on the player joining a team. This is partly the problem with Team USA basketballs theses days, the politic aspect, where coaches don’t give every player a clean slate to work from.

Gordon shouldn’t have been working from the ground up to get notice. He should have been starting out on equal plain as everyone else. And to think that he was on the bubble before Rajon Rondo elected to withdraw his name from consideration last week. Guess we as fans of Team USA should be thanking the basketball-gods? After all, it’s not like the powers to be always get these things right.

Gordon has managed to shine on a team with players that are more familiar to most NBA fans. He has lasted on a team that has sent home players that those same fans consider to be better.

He’s done all this while playing with one foot out the door, while knowing that he wasn’t expected to do anything but provide a body for other guys to show their abilities.



His story is similar to how Dwyane Wade used the 2008 Olympic Games to spring board his name back onto the front pages of most media headlines. Like Wade, Gordon is also a undersized shooting guard that is coming off the bench and providing a steady offensive and defensive assault on all that oppose Team USA aspirations of capturing Gold.

Should he continues his strong play, he’ll be mentioned in talks of the better shooting guards in the NBA once the 2010-2011 season begins. That’s a notion that many people wouldn’t have entertained prior to the start of this summer.

Yet know many are being made aware of the complete game of Eric Gordon. He’s displaying everything from his vastly underrated defense to his extremely underrated deep shot. It’s as if no one knew that he’s managed to average nearly two made three-pointers per game for his career while shooting 38 percent from long-range.

Well now the entire world knows, as he is Team USA leading man in points scored, three pointers made, and second in steals; after one game played. He also is the team leader in regards to three point percentage after going four of six in game one.



So while most USA fans are tuning in to see what the more recognizable players are doing, they are getting a full helping of the young man from North Central-Indianapolis Indiana. Come the start of next season, NBA fans will have another young stud to obsess about.

Only this one won’t have been created by Media-Monster, which so often takes interest in certain players and paints them in a light that isn’t always the truest form.

His buzz is being created the old fashion way, through effort and brilliant results.

Here’s to hoping he gets the attention he deserves from this point forward.



(special thanks to and for providing the links)