Ben Gordon: A Bull no more

Goodbye Ben

This just in from ESPN.com: “The Detroit Pistons made the biggest early splash in free agency on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Former Bulls guard Gordon will receive a five-year, $55 million deal, while former Bucks forward Villanueva gets a five-year deal for $35 million, sources told ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard.”

Wow. I guess that’s it, then. Ben is no longer a Bull. And that $11 million per year “rumor” turned out to be dead on.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune got a quick reaction from the man himself: “Even in his excitement, Gordon expressed disappointment to be leaving the city of Chicago and a Bulls organization for which he consistently maintained he hoped to play. ‘I’ve always said since the jump this is somewhere I’d like to retire, have a 15-year career, get a couple of rings,’ Gordon said. ‘That was my idealistic thing the day I got drafted. But you never know in this business.’”

No. You really and truly never know.

Honestly? I’m bummed. Despite his flaws as a player — undersized, one-dimensional, a little shot-happy — Gordon, more than anyone else, was the team’s one true constant over the past four or five seasons. He missed only 12 games in five seasons. He never shot under 40 percent from three-point range (and only during his rookie campaign did he hit less than 41 percent). He led the Bulls in scoring the past four seasons. He never quit or gave up on the team, even after contract negotiations broke down the last two summers. No, he couldn’t defend bigger guards (which was pretty much everybody), but during his time in Chicago he was an exemplary player and person. (Well, exept for that time he cussed out Vinny Del Negro.)

But you know what’s odd about Ben’s career in the Windy City? He was a proven 20-point scorer and one of the league’s premier long-range snipers, and yet management never treated him like anything more than a complimentary piece…and not a make-or-break piece at that. Sure, they offered him $50 million-plus the last two summers, but they were never willing to grant him The Man status. Heck, it was never even a sure thing he’d be a starter.

Some franchises fall all over themselves for somebody with Ben’s combination of character and ability (not to mention his stats). Just ask the Pistons. But in the end, this was a business decision. On the giant brass scales of NBA value, Ben’s knack for putting the ball in the basket did not outweigh the combination of his flaws and worth on the open market. Not to Jerry Reinsdorf anyway. Not in this economy. Not with a shot at a bona fide superstar next summer. (Don’t even get me started on “What if the Bulls can’t lure Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh to Chicago?”)

Now the Bulls have to move on. They need to figure out where Ben’s 20 points per game is going to come from. (I’m guessing it will be covered by committee.) They’ll have to groom somebody else to take the big shots. (My money’s on Derrick Rose.) They’ll have to plan for the future…because Ben Gordon is history.

Update! More quotes from BG:

On leaving the Bulls: “I don’t have any regrets, and I don’t have any bitter feelings for the Bulls. Business is business. I’m going to a situation now where winning is the No. 1 priority. I’m happy with my decision. … Once I tried to sign their offer last year and the deadline passed and I signed the qualifying offer, I knew leaving was a possibility. Really I don’t have any mixed feelings. I’m just excited about my future with the Pistons.”

On joining the Bulls’ Central Division rival: “The Bulls and Pistons always have had a great rivalry. It will be exciting going against [the Bulls], especially here because this is one of the best sports towns anywhere. I’m definitely going to miss the fans. But being on the other side will be fun too”

On Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars: “Joe’s passion for winning is really evident when you speak to him. He has such a competitive edge to him. And he has a knack for putting together really good teams. “He’s a proven winner whose only priority is to win titles. That’s my ultimate goal too. I feel fortunate where the guy at the top [again] feels just as passionate about winning as I do.”

On his Bulls legacy: “I’m sure there are fans with mixed emotions. Some will remember me positively. Some will remember me negatively. One thing I hope they remember me for is being professional, competing hard and never giving up on the game. I just always tried to help my team win.”

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45 Responses to Ben Gordon: A Bull no more

  1. marcus_campbell2@yahoo.com'
    chicago_marcus July 2, 2009 at 1:31 am #

    we are in trouble…..no ben this year no playoffs…who is going to shoot the ball… we have a team full of 6feet 8 players, all rebounders, what are we thinking, i guess we can say goodbye to rose too when he becomes a free agent…

  2. Suj July 2, 2009 at 1:47 am #

    Your shoddy defense and ball hogging will not be missed, bg7. However, I will miss the excitement that you brought with those clutch shots. Take care Ben. I wish you the best.

  3. mike@peruvianidol.com'
    Peruvian Idol July 2, 2009 at 2:24 am #

    Is it me, or does the plan to woo Bosh and/or Wade reek of the summer when Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill and Tim Duncan were the big free agents? Are we going to end up with Ron Mercer all over again?

  4. ccordes@indiana.edu'
    Colin July 2, 2009 at 2:44 am #

    YES!!!!

    I am so excited at this signing. Detroit just crippled themselves for the next 5 years by giving him way too much money (then villanueva…) They have 3 small guards now, and a small PF in Villa. There is no way Detroit threatens anyone, terrible management. Ben was our best shooter, but all the scoring ability in the world can’t make up for literally not being able to defend any opposing SG and not being able to pass or dribble consistently. BYE BEN.

  5. Zac July 2, 2009 at 4:10 am #

    This is when you give Artest a 1 year deal for 7 million and trade hinrich. Then have a ton of money free next summer.

  6. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    Felipe Garcia July 2, 2009 at 4:46 am #

    I agree with Colin, Thanks to Detroit the Bulls now have sum money save for the 2010 free-agents like Chris Bosh or D-Wade!!! People lets not forget the Bulls still have really good guards like Hinrich, Salmons and D-rose that will replace BG shooting and they r all way better defenders then Gordan. If the Bulls can keep their key players healthy, with the roster they have right now. They are going to make it into the playoffs 4 sure again, but if they r able to make a big trade deal or sign an all-star player like (Wade or Bosh) they are going to make it into the finials with a roster of a Starting Lineup of:

    PG: D-Rose, SG: Salmons, SF: Deng, PF: Bosh & C: Noah. Bench players: Hinrich, Miller, Johnson, Gibson, Tim Thomas & ect.

    Or

    A Starting Lineup of; PG: D- Rose, SG: D-Wade, SF: Deng, PF: Ty Thomas & C: Noah. Bench players: Hinrich, Miller, Johnson, Gibson, Tim Thomas & ect.

    I can smell a championship # 7 for Chicago!!!
    GO BULLS!!!

  7. MRTEDDY9@AOL.COM'
    TED July 2, 2009 at 5:41 am #

    WE NEED TO TRADE REINSDORF… GO INTO THE LUXURY TAX AND KEEP BEN..HOW SIMPLE IS IT.. YOU MADE A COUPLE OF HUNDRED MILLION ON THE BULLS SINCE YOU BOUGHT IT.. IS IT POSSIBLE WE CAN HAVE A COMPETITIVE TEAM… I ALSO WANTED DOUG COLLINS INSTEAD OF A FIRST YEAR COACH BUT AGAIN JERRY AND HIS EGO GOT IN THE WAY…

  8. donte1172@yahoo.com'
    DTay Chandler July 2, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    We gotta get a big name free agent 2 guard now. We need Deng to step up too or we screwed. I’m still trying to see if DWade would want to come here, and how would he and DRose work together on the court?? Questions?? Questions??

  9. w_blow@msn.com'
    William July 2, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    PPL, PPL, please relax. Last season b4 his injury, heading into the playoffs after the trade, Salmons was doing more than his part at both ends of the floor. With that said, we’re good with our 2guard spot.

    What I would like to see tho is for us to go after Millsapp, to give us some muscle inside. Go after Ariza, trade Deng, as he is not worth his contract, I don’t care if we only get a 2nd rd pick, let him go.

    Starting line-up
    D-Rose
    Salmons
    Ariza
    Millsapp
    Noah

    Off the bench with Kirk, B Miller, Ty Thomas, Wayne Johnson, and Taj Gibson. Find a sharp shooter via free agency, someone like an Eddie house just to come off the bench and shoot

  10. aoctwpunk@yahoo.com'
    Joe July 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Very happy that the Bulls let BG walk. He’s a nice scorer, but not worth the money. Derrick Rose is poised to get to the next level this year, Hinrich and Salmons should pick up their scoring this season, and I think that Deng, based on the month before he got injured, should be back to or close to back to his old self. I’ll miss Gordon’s clutch shooting and 3-point touch, but I won’t miss his terrible defense and ball-hogging. With a point guard like Rose on the roster, the Bulls could not afford to keep Gordon around. It’s fine if the ball is in Hinrich’s hands with Rose on the floor because Hinrich will look to create to get Rose easier shots (saw that so many times this year). It’s not fine if the ball is in Gordon’s hands because he’s only looking out for number 1. Imagine if New Orleans ran isos for Peja every time down while CP3 stood in the corner and you have an idea of why I’m glad BG is headed to Detroit.

  11. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. July 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    Dear Matt,

    I am truly sorry for your loss, and slightly embarassed by some of the insensitive posts that you have to read. As we have covered, I have always been conflicted about Ben, and today is no exception.

    I would have liked to see the Bulls make an offer to Ben before anyone else. I think this would have accomplished two things. First, it would have make the Pistons jump over their offer to get his services. Perhaps getting them to put even more money on the table, and causing them some future financial inflexability. Secondly, the Bulls management could have then gone public with the announcement that: “They really, really tried to resign Ben, but he was just asking for waaaay too much.”

    However, the real reason I am conflicted today is the realization: …Crap! I live in Michigan. My personal “BG Conundrum” starts all over again!

    Well, Matt, at least you know who you can visit if you need your Ben Gordon fix next year.

  12. Welly July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    Sad day for Bulls fans! All BG wanted was alittle respect. I dont want to hear anything about kirk or deng and their contracts when I can never recall del negro or skiles ever drawing up plays for them at the end games. BG has been a professional from day 1….start, go to bench, start again, go back to bench again and never once did it ever affect his professionalism and soo forth. BG was a 4th quarter guy with heart…something that deng doesn’t have. Salmons has done more than decently thus far, but I wouldn’t have been so quick to expect deng and him take care of the scoring load. No reputable NBA team lets 20.7 pts a game leave with out one heck of a backup plan. Whats makes them think free agents would come here anyway. Its ashame that we just took 2 steps back after a decent run in the playoffs.

  13. usmcroc22@msn.com'
    rocky rosado July 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Kirk Hinrich shot over 40% from the three point line. He’s a good shooter too.

  14. bballnc10@aol.com'
    Nicky C July 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    I’m heartbroken…

    Ben Gordon should be a Bull. There isn’t even evidence the Bulls ATTEMPTED to sign him in the last 48 hours. Why not just bite the bullet and go into the luxury tax – it’s not like the Bulls don’t have the money. And it had to be the Pistons…of all teams in the leage…the effin Pistons…

    Salmons will break down (he’s almost 30 and his body was almost a corpse during Game 7 vs. the Celtics) and Hinrich is obviously more effective in a bench role. I think if the Bulls were planning to let Ben leave, they would have drafted a guard…but now that he’s gone, I think they are dumbfounded. I haven’t even been able to locate any words from the Bulls Organization about his departure. What gives?

  15. Jordan July 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    marcus if you knew basketball and watched the bulls play you would know why every body else was not scoring as much as ben gordon with out ben gordon every body scoring average will probaly increase because he was a ball hog

    derrick rose scoring probaly goes up to about 21.0 ppg
    john salmons scoring average goes up to 20.0 ppg
    kirk hinrich probaly goes up to about 14.0 ppg
    joakim noah probaly goes up to about 10.0 ppg
    tyrus thomas probaly goes up to about 12.0 ppg
    and deng should just get traded

    and dont forget derrick rose assist probaly goes up to

    all because ben gordon the ball hog is gone

  16. mingo1911@yahoo.com'
    Mingo1911 July 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Say what you want to say about BG, but if it wasn’t for him, that playoff series with Boston, would have been a sweep. There is no one on the current roster that I am comfortable with taking that BIG shot in a game, nobody has the confidence to take it, and that is where the Bulls will suffer. Don’t hinge on picking up a Wade, Bosh, or James next summer, they all want to win and there are way too many missing pieces in Chi-town for that to happen. The only way one of them comes is if the other two comes as well…. We will be back in the lotto next year.

  17. spicydish@hotmail.com'
    Rob July 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    BG7 was a true professional and a good person. He was also only half a superstar.

    Phenomenal scorer and one of the best clutch shooters in the game, but he was a bad defender both in effort and ability as well as a poor ball handler. The true superstars may excel in one category such as scoring but they are always at least above average in their “weaker” areas – that’s what makes them superstars. Unfortunately for Ben, his weak areas cannot be improved enough to qualify as a superstar. You can’t gain height, and once you reach the NBA your ball handling is already at it’s peak (coordination, body control, etc.) I wish him luck but in the end I still don’t think he starts in Motown long term, unless they move Hamilton or Stucky. This is precisely what the Bulls were stuck on, do you pay 11 million a year to a 6th man? Only time will tell who was right, Pax or Joe.

  18. aoctwpunk@yahoo.com'
    Joe July 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Mingo, you might want to recheck your facts. Gordon showed up in exactly 2 games against Boston (games 2 and 4) and Chicago was 1-1 in those games. Overall, he shot 39% for the series and had the worst shooting percentage of any Bulls rotation player (yes, even worse than Tyrus Thomas), but that didn’t stop him from shooting 14 more shots in 9 fewer minutes than the next closest player (Derrick Rose, who shot 49% for the series).

    What’s hilarious to me, though, is that Detroit just ended their failed experiment with a short, ballhogging chucker yet they just turned around signed another one for 5 years.

  19. Phil July 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    I’m pretty gutted! Going to see the Bulls in London in October and was looking forward to seeing their two players with English connections in the flesh. Now at least one of them won’t be there :(

    Ah well, at least I’ll get to see Rose in action!

  20. danny July 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    letting ben go is a bad move by the bulls now they dont have no clutch shooter and okay he didnt play defense and he wasnt the best passer but he made that up with scoring. how do u pay deng who hasnt proved he can carry a team like ben did i think they should have had ben signed b4 they signed deng and what if wade and bosh decide 2 stay or go 2 another team then we got a huge problen

  21. w_blow@msn.com'
    William July 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    Here we go again with all this big shot stuff!!!(Mingo). Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe if you played some defense throughout the game, and contained your guy, the game may not always come down to a big shot, maybe you could win it straight out.

    We needed last second shots, because we lacked late game defense to close games out. The Lake show got a ring, cuz they were commited to Defense, the yr b4 that, it was the Celtics. How bout the yr the Pistons won (Defense) What about all those rings Duncan has (Defense).

    Case in point, I like BG, but he was not what we needed for 11million per yr.

  22. ahs@yahoo.com'
    Ripped Rip July 2, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    You people realize that Rip Hamilton is 6’8″, right?

    Skinny, yes.

    Short, not even remotely.

  23. 9543'
    bob July 2, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    ICAN’T BELIVE THE BULLS WE HAD AN ALLSTAR AND WE GAVE HIM AWAY!

    He was the best player we had,he could shoot 3′s like ray allen. He is a young, great shooting guard that could get us a ring.
    STARTING LINEUP
    PG-ROSE
    SG-SALMONS
    SF-JONSON
    PF-TY/GIBSON
    C-TY/NOUH

    The bulls are to cheapthat’s we don’t have rings!
    Next year the bulls need toget wade because lat’s face it we playe the heat a lot and wade kills use every time. ROSE CAN’T RUN THE TEAM! We don’t have any body on are team that can average 20-21 points a game.

  24. DbowLucky13@aol.com'
    Dbow Queen City July 2, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    We are in deep trouble. For those of you cheering now, I will see you at the end of next season, when we are crying on each other shoulders for not making the playoffs. Terrible day for the Bull’s fans.

  25. Jordan July 2, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    youll herd about the bulls might be tryin to sign iverson to a 1 year deal i think thats good especially if its only one year, some other bulls fans might not like it but i do

    what do youll think about us tryin to sign iverson?

  26. memo July 2, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    noooooooooo

  27. Gioanni cruz July 2, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    i feel bad to ben gorden he wanted to stay but the bulls wouldnt give him the money so im know a detrioit piston fan because BG is with detroit pistons

  28. aja-ala@yahoo.com'
    marcus July 3, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    LOL, after what the bulls did to BG, you all think any legitimate free agent would want to come here? Stop fooling yourselves. I wouldn’t want to come here. We have restarted the TIM FLOYD ERA all over again.

  29. w_blow@msn.com'
    William July 3, 2009 at 1:34 am #

    How did they do BG? The guy turned down $50 mill 2 summers in a row, the same money, he just took from Detroit. You guys are killing me!!!

  30. rbenusa@gmail.com'
    Flipjack July 3, 2009 at 4:45 am #

    @William

    They’re killing you because they’re all BG7 nut-huggers.

    Bulls should be focusing on complementing Rose now and BG just doesn’t fit alongside him.

  31. kjdj1974@comcast.net'
    Doug July 3, 2009 at 5:11 am #

    The Bulls success this upcoming season now depends on one person and that’s Luol Deng. He’s been mediocre the last 2 seasons and has been spending the rest of the time injured. With the departure of Ben I’m also hoping that Derek Rose will start taking control of this team and stop looking for someone else to take the big shot. What worries me is the fact that we now have a short-handed guard rotation. We went from having too many to not enough. Kirk Hinrich is now the only backup guard at both positions. What are we going to do with all these Forwards. If they knew they weren’t going to keep Ben then why not draft a Shooting guard? Well here’s to hoping we’re not at the bottom of the division this year.

  32. Zac July 3, 2009 at 7:13 am #

    “They have the assets to do it; the part about Gordon leaving that everyone forgets is that now they also have the cap space to sign Bosh outright after the season. Given the talent already there and the desirability of Chi-town, it might be the leading free agent destination next summer — even ahead of the Big Apple.”

    Direct quote from John Hollinger’s chat on getting Bosh or any other big name free agent next summer.

  33. w_blow@msn.com'
    William July 3, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    @FlipJack

    Thank you, because the last I checked, Rose was the Guy who we were trying to build around, and like you said, BG7 just did not fit, especially for 11 million per yr.

    I would however like to see us trade Ty. Thomas, and Deng, and pick up a guy like Millsapp, he’s nasty, and very strong under the basket, Ty’s replacement has been drafted in Taj Gibson. Same kinda athlete, with a more polished offense.

    As well as Turkoglu, who would then give us another big ball handler, who also can knock down clutch shots and score.

    Rose
    Salmons
    Turkoglu
    Millsapp
    Noah

    Sounds pretty good to me!

  34. Guzman555242@aol.com'
    Juan July 3, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Do you guys want to sign a superstar in 2010 to go along with D.Rose??? Well, I do!!!!! We don’t need to sign anybody we could have agood year with the players we have now.

    Turkaglue is asking for too much $$$ and if we sign him our money for 2010 will be gone.

    I font know how much Millsap want but if it’s less than $6M for 2 years I’m fine.

  35. legendlace@yahoo.com'
    gobulls30 July 3, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    chicago bulls go get allen iverson please please

  36. kurt July 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    The team is better off without Gordon if it can sign someone like turoglu or millsap. If we can’t, his absence will be noticeable.

  37. Doug July 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    Are you serious? Trade Hinrich? That’s a rediculous idea. He can defend 3 DIFFERENT POSITIONS AND HE CAN BRING THE BALL UP THE FLOOR AND MAKE PLAYS IN THE CLUTCH. No, you don’t trade Hinrich.

  38. kdissaved@ameritech.net'
    Keith Lifetime Southsider and Chicagoan July 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    Sad day in Chicago. Once again – we grow the talent so that someone else can reap the benefits. Chicago is just cheap as a baby bird! Rose was selected so that they could depart with Gordon. This team belongs to Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng – both signed and locked up. Everyone else will be dealt or released including Derrick Rose. Chicago has only ever paid for one true star and that was Jordan who they paid at the end of his career. Scottie got a sign and trade and does not count. Aint no star coming here. Wade wouldn’t leave Miami, and I couldnt blame him. You only leave Miami to WIN and Chicago is not interested in that. They are only interested in making the playoffs and entertaining their guaranteed, in the bag, sell-out, thanks for the memories Michael – fans. Which star in his right mind would come to Chicago when places like LA and Orlando and so many other teams and towns have so much to offer. We don’t even have a friggin COACH! Rose is going to be up – the first chance he gets! He is going to turn down all of the Bull’s meager offers and they are going to sign and trade him for garbage. This is Deng’s and Kirk’s team – after all – who are the captains????

  39. waltergibbs2@yahoo.com'
    walt July 8, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    i am sad to see him go because as a sports fan forget about what he did not do you don’t get rid of a guy who can score 50 in a NBA game and do not get anything in return. I wish people would stop talking about his handle because if you are saying he couldn’t dribble you must not have been watching the games most of his points came from isolation you don’t score on isolation plays without handle. The front office never gave him the credit for being the on true star on the team.

  40. 2925ntalbott'
    Antonio Patton July 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Who in the world allowed this to happen are we trying to win a ring or not the owner and Jhon Paxson need to get out of my city! We need someone thats cares about the ones that make the Bulls what they are and thats us the true fans of the best city in the whole world CHI Town. Yea i said it and anyone that is truly from this city will say the same win or lose we show up and most of the fans hear are true die hard fans and only cheer for the teams in this city so if you guys in uper mangment cant get it together then get out of ower town clowns! MR.CHI TOWN

  41. justin July 10, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    Why in the world would bulls give up one of the best player on the team up. thats just aint right. they didnt even talk to him about what he wants. Bulls my team but u just dont give nobody up like him. crazy.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] Matt McHale: Honestly? I’m bummed. Despite his flaws as a player — undersized, one-dimensional, a little shot-happy — Gordon, more than anyone else, was the team’s one true constant over the past four or five seasons. He missed only 12 games in five seasons. He never shot under 40 percent from three-point range (and only during his rookie campaign did he hit less than 41 percent). He led the Bulls in scoring the past four seasons. He never quit or gave up on the team, even after contract negotiations broke down the last two summers. No, he couldn’t defend bigger guards (which was pretty much everybody), but during his time in Chicago he was an exemplary player and person. (Well, exept for that time he cussed out Vinny Del Negro.) [...]

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    [...] Now that Ben Gordon is a former Bull, it looks like former Bull Jannero Pargo might be coming back to Chicago. [...]

  3. The numbers crunch » By The Horns - July 8, 2009

    [...] the team hasn’t been aggressively pursuing free agents, particularly Ben Gordon, whom they lost to the Pistons. As always, the answer is all [...]

  4. Upturned Earth » Bye, Ben - February 6, 2010

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