Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Bobcats guard Ben Gordon and Head Coach Mike Dunlap had a heated dispute in shoot around Monday morning, prior to Charlotte’s defeat of the Boston Celtics later that night.
According to Wojnarowski —
As Dunlap led the Bobcats in a morning shootaround on Monday before a victory over the Celtics, Gordon refused Dunlap’s request to stop bouncing a ball as the coach spoke, sources said. Before long, Gordon began baiting Dunlap, telling him that he needed to “humble himself,” sources said.
Gordan refused to give the ball to Dunlap, and eventually tossed it toward a ball rack, sources said.
Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins was in the practice session and ultimately intervened, sources said.
“Beyond disrespectful,” was how one league source described the scene.
The Bobcats front office has not taken any action on disciplining or suspending Ben Gordon as of yet, in what Wojnarowski believes is an effort to not hurt his trade value. That very well may be true, but now that this report is out in the open there’s no question that whatever trade value he did have has been diminished to an extent.
Brooklyn has been the only team to have serious interest in acquiring Gordon according to most reports, but it feels as if that’s a last resort type of deal for them now. The Nets have been linked to names such as Josh Smith, Paul Millsap and Carlos Boozer within the past week, so it seems fairly obvious that there first priority is finding an offensive minded PF. Problem is, the Nets have no one to send back in any kind of trade except for the names Marshon Brooks and Kris Humphries. Most teams in the league have no interest in either of those names, or are asking for more, so Brooklyn is a fish out of water in what would be the ideal trade for them. Where the Bobcats come in is in the fact that they wouldn’t mind in taking on Humphries. In fact, it makes perfect sense for Charlotte. The salaries and years on Gordon and Humphries contracts are practically identical and PF fills a much bigger need for the Bobcats.
It will be interesting to see where the Bobcats go from here with Gordon, especially if they’re forced to hang onto him. One thing now seems clear — if Charlotte is able to convince someone to pull the trigger on a deal involving Gordon, it’s going to be at the last second of the deadline when the Nets get desperate (Feb. 21).