Former North Central star and current NBA player for the New Orleans Pelicans Eric Gordon came back to Indianapolis to host a basketball camp at the JCC. The IndyStar caught up with him and chatted about staying healthy this year, watching Anthony Davis break out and his brother Eron’s upcoming year at Cathedral High School.
Q: What advice have you been giving Eron (Eric’s brother and Cathedral High School player in contention for 2016 IndyStar Mr. Basketball)?
Gordon: He’s been through a lot. I think this senior season he’s got to put it all together. He went through a lot of adversity last year only playing half the season. He finally got his game back. He’s just got to mature his game a little more this year and be dominant instead of a just a good scorer.
Q: How will this year be different for him?
Gordon: Now he sees the expectations. When you’re a senior the expectations are different. You’ve got to prepare yourself for college and you’ve got to have a good senior year because you’re more experienced. When you have a chance to be Mr. Basketball you have to put all of your effort towards that. That’s a very honorable achievement to have. With Indiana basketball you’ve got to have the full package as a player. Everybody who comes out of here has a little bit of everything. That’s what he has to have.
He watched all of us play and had a hunger of playing. And now it’s just all about him evolving and not getting into distractions of Instagram and all that media. Just go out and play. A lot of these kids today just want to promote themselves and be on Instagram and Twitter letting everyone know what they’re doing instead of just keeping it simple. There are too many things to do.
Q: Is there pressure for Eron to attend IU?
Gordon: Yeah, there’s pressure. Everyone expects him to be just like me. That shouldn’t be the case. He has his own type of game. He’s his own person. But he knows the expectation and he should expect that. His situation is a little different than mine. I committed early, he might commit late. He’s got to make a decision for him. I made the decision for me.
IU is definitely a great place to be, especially for a basketball player, but I’m not leaning him towards IU or anything like that. That’s for sure.
Q: How well do you keep in touch with other Indy NBAers?
Gordon: I still keep in touch with Greg (Oden), Mike Conley and always run into Courtney Lee. We see each other all the time during the season and we definitely see each other in the off-season at some point.
Q: Is your career where it should be after finishing a season healthy and making the playoffs?
Gordon: Everybody’s career is always an obstacle. For me, right now, I made a big leap as far as staying healthy this season and making it to the playoffs for the first time. I had a good taste of that. It was a good year and now it’s time to progress. I’m back lifting now. July is when I really start getting into shape and doing things almost like I do during the season. The past three years I’ve been injured and rehab just takes up your whole time during the summer. I’m just getting back to a normal schedule before I had all of these injuries.
Q: What was it like watching Anthony Davis break out this year?
Gordon: I knew he was going to have a good year after playing on the USA team because that gave him more experience and a different style of play. All he had to do was work hard and do something different. He did a really good job this year. Next year it’s all about making things easier for him. It’s going to be a different style of play next year.
We gave him the ball in so many different ways last year, and sometimes it came kind of tough for him because he’s not really a one-on-one, post-up type of player. Last year, and this coming year, with us playing fast he’s going to get more easy shots and more easy looks.
Q: You have an opt-out clause in your contract, are you close to a decision?
Gordon: Not yet. I still have two weeks to do it. I’m going to take the full two weeks. As long as I get it done in time.