Eric Gordon ready to play for Mike D'Antoni and with James Harden
HOUSTON - New Rockets guard Eric Gordon, who agreed to a four-year contract worth $53 million, is looking forward to playing for head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The two have crossed paths before.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Gordon said in a telephone interview with FOX 26 Sports.
“I got close to him when I was on the USA team and he was one of the coaches. I was always curious, and always wanted to know what I would be like in his style of play. Everybody in the league wants to play fast. He’s the architect of that.”
Gordon believes he will fit what D’Antoni will want to do with the Rockets on both ends of the floor.
“I just think I get the chance to be a complete player, for sure, at a high level with the Rockets,” Gordon said.
“I think it’s going to be a unique situation. I’ve always done well when I had the ball in my hands and being able to create.”
Gordon expects to be able to work well with Rockets superstar James Harden.
“I think it’s going to be good,” Gordon said. “I think me and him will probably be interchanged a lot as far as handling the ball.
“The fact that he’s a playmaker and I’m the shooter, I think that’ll just create problems for the other team.”
Gordon was impressed by the fact that owner Leslie Alexander took part in the Rockets meeting with him while they were working toward an agreement.
“That means he’s hands on with the team, Gordon said. “He’s definitely not your average owner.
“He knows a lot about the game, knowing his players, knowing the style of play, just knowing everything about the league.”
Last season Gordon averaged 15.2 points, including better than 38 per cent from the three-point line, to go along with 2.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds.
Having spent the last five years with the New Orleans Pelicans, Gordon has played his share of games at Toyota Center.
“Everytime I came into that building you can just tell the fans love the players,” Gordon said. “We do have a bright future.”
And that future includes forward Ryan Anderson, Gordon’s teammate in New Orleans the past four years.
Anderson agreed to a four-year deal worth $80 million with the Rockets.
“It’s going to be great,” Gordon said. “He’s always been a great teammate, a great friend of mine.
“The dude is just a character. You’ll see for yourself. He’s like a part-time comedian.”
Gordon hopes he and Anderson and the Rockets will be laughing their way to a lot of victories.
Moving to Houston also means Gordon will get to see more of University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson.
Sampson coached Gordon at Indiana during the 2007-08 season when he was the Hoosiers head coach.
“Coach Sampson played a very important role in my career,” Gordon said. “It’s not always easy to play one year in college and make it to the league.
“He made me a better player, that’s for sure, in that short amount of time. That’s why we’ll always be close.”