An incident Monday morning between Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon and coach Mike Dunlap appears to underscore the tension between those two.
An Observer source confirmed a Yahoo Sports report that Gordon was disruptive during shootaround before the Bobcats’ victory Monday night over the Boston Celtics. The source confirmed Gordon kept bouncing a ball while Dunlap was going through preparations for the Celtics.
When Gordon wouldn’t stop being a distraction, Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins had to intercede to resolve the situation.
Neither Gordon nor Dunlap could be reached Thursday, with the team off for the All-Star break.
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This was not the first indication Gordon is frustrated with his role. When Dunlap pulled him from a game in late January, Gordon took inordinately long to leave the court and his expression showed considerable frustration. The two have met at least twice concerning Gordon’s role.
Gordon came to the Bobcats in a June trade. Charlotte got Gordon and a future first-round pick from the Detroit Pistons, who took back small forward Corey Maggette. Gordon is now the Bobcats’ highest-paid player, making $12.4 million this season and $13.2 million next season.
The Bobcats and Brooklyn Nets have discussed a trade that would send Gordon to Brooklyn in return for power forward Kris Humphries. The Nets have put those discussions on hold, as they explore other options before the Thursday trade deadline.
With the Bobcats in a youth movement, nine-season veteran Gordon hasn’t been particularly featured. He averages 12.6 points and 22 minutes off the bench in a crowd of younger guards – Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson and rookie swingman Jeff Taylor.
If Gordon was disciplined following Monday’s flare-up, it didn’t involve missing a game. He played 14 minutes against the Celtics on Monday night, missing five of six shots. He played 16 minutes in Indiana on Wednesday, missing seven of nine attempts.