Eric Gordon: Clippers Lied About Trade to Hornets

by January 05, 2012

Eric Gordon thought he had assurances from the LA Clippers that he wouldn’t be dealt away, but of course, he’s now a New Orleans Hornet. Gordon and former Clipper Chris Kaman trashed the organization in an interview with Yahoo! Sports: “All you do is take the man’s word and take that he said that no one is going to go anywhere,’ Gordon said. ‘To completely lie like that is something unprofessional.’ After trade talks with the Hornets stalled Dec. 12, Clippers general manager Neil Olshey and coach Vinny Del Negro gathered the team’s players who had guaranteed contracts and told them the franchise planned to move forward with its current group. Gordon and Kaman now think they were deceived. Olshey disagrees. ‘I’m not deceptive enough to look players in the eye and tell them something that is not true,’ Olshey said. ‘And I can tell you from an ownership level, the president of our company, myself, we made a corporate decision Monday morning that when the deal didn’t go through on Sunday night we would no longer pursue the trade. And that’s when we notified our players, to get the elephant out of the room during our abbreviated training camp.’ […] ‘They came back to us with what we felt like was a more appropriate compensation package and we decided to do the deal,’ Olshey said. Said Gordon: ‘They literally told me as an organization that they wanted to keep me, and [the trade still] went down?’ News of the trade broke via Twitter and other social media outlets while Gordon and Kaman were at community events with Clippers season-ticket holders. Gordon found out while he was on a bus for the event and tweeted, ‘Wow.’ Kaman found out from his real-estate agent’s son. ‘He said, ‘Hey, you got traded.’ I was like, ‘C’mon,’ Kaman said. ‘Then everyone started talking to me like, ‘Hey, what happened?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ Then my agent wasn’t calling me. I couldn’t get ahold of him. Then Farouq talked to his agent and said it was done. The Clippers didn’t tell me anything. They didn’t tell me I was traded or nothing after eight years. They didn’t have the guts to come tell me they traded me.’ Olshey said he and Del Negro were in the lobby of the Clippers’ practice facility waiting for the players to return from the events to discuss the trade. ‘Unfortunately in today’s social media it didn’t matter if they were home, on a bus, shootaround, out to dinner,’ Olshey said. ‘We would never get to them before other people got to them or it ended up on Twitter.'”