NBA veteran Ben Gordon has resurfaced in the D-League with Texas Legends. The 33-year-old guard has accomplished much in the league, but is still shooting for another chance to reach his ultimate goal: an NBA title.
Aside from playing with Britain last summer, there was no competitive basketball for you the last year and a half. How have you felt in the D-League so far?
Ben Gordon: It feels good to be back out there, going to practices and competing in games. I’m looking forward to continuing to grow.
What did you do last season when you were away from basketball?
BG: I worked out and spent time with my family and catching up on things I was not able to catch up on when I was playing. I also watched a lot of basketball waiting for that call and trying to stay in shape in case it came. It was difficult to go out and work out without having a game next because it was the first time I was not with a team since the sixth grade. You get used to do the same thing in your life and all of a sudden not being able to do it even if you’re healthy… it becomes frustrating and you get bored. I missed it a lot, but I’m back doing it now.
Did you have offers to play overseas before going to the D-League?
BG: Yeah, I had some offers, but nothing that I wanted to do at the time. I wanted to continue to play and do it here.
Do you look at the NBA these days with everybody taking so many threes and think perhaps you were born too early, that perhaps your game would be more appreciated now than it was in your prime years?
BG: I don’t necessarily think that’s true. There were guys that did what I do, although perhaps there’s more of those now – combo guards that shoot a lot in smaller lineups. What many are doing now, I did before and was very successful doing it.
How pleased are you about your NBA career? Anything left to accomplish?
BG: I always wanted to win a championship. I have not completed that goal. To compete at that level and win a championship. I won in high school, I won in college and that’s my ultimate goal. Always has been.
You did very well in Chicago, then you move to Detroit and it didn’t go so well for you there. What happened?
BG: We were put together poorly. We had the players, but we didn’t have the chemistry and the leadership to be a playoff team. Obviously, everybody on that team had playoff experience, some guys even had championship experience, but that just shows that in the NBA coaching and chemistry are very important. In Detroit, we just didn’t have the right mix of players and the right leadership from the coaching standpoint.
Was that your worst experience in the NBA?
BG: Nah, all my experiences have been great. I don’t take anything for granted. Some teams win, some teams lose. That’s what you sign up for. But all my experiences were great. I learned a lot in every city I was at. I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences for anything.
What are your plans for when your playing career is over?
BG: Coaching, playing development. Something that stays in the game. I have a lot of knowledge and information I’ve learned over the years. I would just like to pass it on to the new generation.