Eric Gordon could never quite get fully healthy or find his place in New Orleans.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey saw the potential for how he would fit in as a shooter in Mike D’Antoni’s offense, and he signed him to a multi-year deal.
It worked. Gordon averaged 16.2 points per game coming off the bench, and shot 37.2 percent from three — full healthy he is part of what made the James-Harden-as-point-guard experiment work.
Monday night, Gordon was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year, barely edging out Andre Iguodala of the Warriors.
“We just had an unbelievable year here with the Rockets,” Gordon said in his acceptance speech at the NBA Awards Ceremony. “I want to thank (owner) Leslie Alexander of the Rockets for just believing in me. I’d also like to thank my teammates and coaches for making my job easy this year.”
Gordon just edged out Iguodala in the voting from 100 media members (full disclosure, I was one of them and voted for Iguodala). Gordon had 46 first place votes to Iguodala’s 43, and Gordon had 40 second place votes to Iguodala’s 34. Gordon had better offensive numbers but Iguodala was at the heart of key Warriors lineups, plus he has a ring for his effort (votes were cast before the playoffs began).
Gordon’s Rockets teammate Lou Williams (who spent much of the season racking up buckets with the Lakers in a bench role) was a distant third. After that Zach Randolph of Memphis came in fourth, James Johnson of Miami was fifth. The full voting — including which media members voted for whom — will be made public on Tuesday by the NBA.
Just a reminder, Eric Gordon is locked in through 2019-20 with the Rockets on a very reasonable contract. He could pick up another one or two of these in the coming years.