K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has more on Ben’s supposed $11 million promise from the Pistons: “So, Ben Gordon, do you or your agent have a backroom agreement to sign with Detroit when the free-agency period begins July 1? ‘You can’t even negotiate until July 1, so that’s just rumors,’ Gordon said Wednesday at his basketball camp in Lisle. ‘I really don’t know what’s going to happen.’ … Even if true, nobody would confirm this development because it would represent a violation of league rules. But free agents verbally agree to terms on the first day of free agency all the time, which suggests either parameters for deals privately get discussed prematurely or the official offers are so large as to blow the player away.”
To sum up: There may or may not be a secret deal, but we’ll never know because it’s against the rules and the involved parties would deny it anyway. For his part, BG says he wants to remain a Bull, win “a couple of championship rings” with the Bulls, and then retire a Bull. But, well, you never know.
“I’ve been pretty consistent with what I’ve said: The NBA is a business. Regardless of what happens, you have to separate the business side from your emotions. And I did that. Things didn’t go my way but that didn’t stop me from approaching my job the same way and loving the game of basketball. There are a lot of people in worse situations than me, so there’s really no need to be stressed about it or have bad blood. … One thing I’ve learned for sure in the NBA is you don’t have a deal until something is signed. Come July 1, I’m excited to see what’s out there. I’m excited with the possibility of getting a long-term deal.”
It’s true. Ben was great last season. He didn’t sulk or pout. Instead, he played his butt off and helped get his team into the playoffs. And I can’t really blame him for not getting all misty-eyes about whether the Bulls were going to re-sign him. At this point, he’s done everything a player in his position could have done, and now he has to play the waiting game…along with the rest of us.