When I first got drafted to play in Chicago, I was like, Man, this is a team I always watched and followed and was a fan of! To get drafted there was a big thing for me. As a kid, I was a Chicago Bulls fan, always.
My favorite players were Michael Jordan and BJ Armstrong. To play for a team with so much history and tradition was big.
But after a while, you grow out of the wow of it and do your job.
Chicago is such a great city to play in. The games are always sold out and the fans are always into it. For a player, see, guys feed off of the crowd, so anytime you have a great atmosphere to play in, it’s a great thing. When I’m out and people see me and ask for an autograph or a picture, I do it. It’s a nice feeling.
My friends and I were definitely into sneakers growing up. We were always trying to see who could get the most exclusive sneakers and stuff like that. The big shoes when I was growing up were the Jordans, of course, but also the Foamposites and Air Force 1s. Today, I think it’s pretty much the same. Everybody wants to get the retros of whatever was cool back then.
My favorite game professionally so far would have to be during my rookie year, the 2004-05 season. It was against New York at the Garden. I think it was my first game at the Garden and I hit the game-winning shot. That’s my all-time favorite.
I love my hometown, Mount Vernon, NY. Every summer, we have a great weekend called the Ben Gordon Community Unity Weekend. There’s a basketball clinic, all types of events for kids. My high school coach, Bob Cimmino, and his players come down and they do basketball drills with the local elementary school kids. I do it every summer, and it’s really cool.
When I was younger, the thought of having a sneaker deal never ever crossed my mind. I never thought about that. It’s just one of those things that kind of happens. It’s one of many things you learn about as you get closer and closer to possibly being a pro.
The most comfortable shoe I ever played in was the Foamposite, but not the first ones. The ones that were so comfortable were the blue and black ones, the ones Penny Hardaway made famous. These days I’m wearing Uptempos, the 2007-08 version. Now, after every season, I save most of my sneakers. I have probably 90-98 percent of them in my garage in big bags. I just have them there. I don’t know what I’ll do with them!
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