Ben Gordon enjoyed a successful college basketball career and had success in the NBA for multiple seasons. The shooting guard was very talented, and he had that competitive edge to him.
Gordon always wanted to win, and he gave his full effort when he stepped on the court. He made an immediate impact when he came into the league. Gordon’s performance fell off at the end of his career, and when he retired, he was not heading in the right direction.
Ben Gordon’s path to the NBA
After winning an NCAA championship at the University of Connecticut, Gordon decided to enter the NBA draft. The Chicago Bulls selected Gordon with the third overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. In his rookie season, Gordon averaged 15.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Gordon helped the Bulls reach the playoffs for the first time since 1998. At the end of the season, he won the Sixth Man of the Year award. Gordon became the first rookie in the NBA to win the award. He was also voted to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
After a successful rookie season, Gordon continued to make an impact on the game. In his third season with the Bulls, he averaged 21.4 points per game and 3.6 assists, which were both career highs for Gordon. Coming off the bench, he provided that high-level energy that the Bulls needed. Whenever the team needed a bucket, Gordon was one player who could deliver for them.
Gordon spent his first five seasons playing for the Bulls. After the 2008-09 season, he signed with the Detroit Pistons. In Detroit, Gordon continued to come off the bench, and his production decreased. He went from averaging 20.7 points to 13.8 points in one season. Gordon dealt with some injuries in Detroit as well, which allowed him to miss some games.
Ben Gordon’s decline in the NBA
Though Gordon got off to a hot start when he first came to the NBA, his final three seasons were much different. After spending three seasons in Detroit, Gordon was sent to the Charlotte Bobcats. In his first season in Charlotte, he played in 75 games, coming off the bench in all of those games, and averaged 11.2 points per game. The next season he only played in 19 games and 5.2 points. During the 2014-15 season, Gordon signed with the Orlando Magic and was waived after one season.
Things did not get any better for Gordon as far as his playing career. In 2015 he signed with the Golden State Warriors but was waived after appearing in two preseason games. Gordon then went to the G League in 2017, where the Texas Legends acquired him. 2017 was the last year that Gordon played basketball.
Ben Gordon facing troubles off the court and thoughts of suicide
In 2017, Gordon was arrested for an incident where he pulled a fire alarm in a building and was hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation. It seemed as if Gordon had some personal issues that he kept to himself for a while. He was arrested for the second time in 2017 when he punched the apartment complex manager in Manhattan, and he also pulled a knife on him. Gordon was released on bail.
In February, Gordon let the world know that he had a bipolar disorder, and he talked about the struggles he faced in an article about mental health for the Player’s Tribune. He also describes the incident in which he attempted to commit suicide. Gordon was in a place where he couldn’t escape, and he thought that things could not get any better. He would end up finding the right help and was comfortable enough to share his story in the article he wrote. There aren’t too many people who have the courage to do what Gordon did.