Gordon seeks breakthrough in more ways than one

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

He’s experienced team success in the form of a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, but he’s still seeking his first trip to the NBA playoffs. He’s been chosen as a member of the NBA’s All-Rookie team, but would love to make his All-Star Game debut someday soon.

Since arriving in the NBA as a 2008 lottery pick, Eric Gordon has achieved several noteworthy individual accomplishments – yet has good reason to not feel completely content. In three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers and one as a member of the New Orleans Hornets, Gordon has often been recognized as one of the league’s premier shooting guards. From a team standpoint, though, it’s been a frustrating four-year run. The Clippers’ best record in Gordon’s three seasons there was just 30-52. The Hornets went 21-45 during the abbreviated 2011-12 campaign, but were 6-3 in games Gordon played. The Indiana University product averaged 20.6 points, easily leading a Hornets club that struggled to generate offense.

“I’ve had the stats to be on the All-Star team, but to make the All-Star team, it’s all about how you’re doing in wins and losses,” noted Gordon, who averaged a career-best 22.3 points in 2010-11. “I haven’t been on many very good teams. I’ve been on talented teams, but not very good as far as record.”

For Gordon to attain All-Star status, he realizes that New Orleans must become a playoff contender. For that to happen, the Hornets will likely need their No. 1 scoring option to remain healthy. The 23-year-old acknowledges that injuries have prevented him from fulfilling all of his considerable promise.

“I definitely want to be an All-Star this year and play a lot of games, because that’s the only thing that’s been holding me back,” he said. “It’s all about being a leader and helping the team win games.”

Despite not turning 24 until his Christmas birthday, the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder is tied for being the Hornets’ third-most experienced player. One of the NBA’s youngest rosters will need his presence at both ends of the floor. “I’m looking forward to having a good year,” he said. “I think we need a good start to the season, and that will help us overcome a lot of things.”