We basketball junkies will sometimes chide the casual fan for not knowing some of the bigger names in the international game — Tiago Splitter, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Nikola Pekovic, Dimitris Diamantidis and others.
But the fact of the matter is, many sports fans in America don’t know who Eric Gordon is. And he made Team USA.
The Clippers lower-profile guard was one most of us expected to get cut from this squad, but USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo told NBA.com’s John Schuhmann he has proven he belonged.
“I’m not going to say he’s a surprise,” Colangelo said. “What I’m going to say is we’re really pleased with the way he’s playing. And he’s to a point now where he takes a shot, we expect it to go down. It’s not a question in our minds. There are very few players playing on any level where you feel if they’ve got the ball, they’re going to score. He’s one of them.
“He’s a pure shooter, just needs a little bit of room. He’s quick. The other thing is his body type is perfect for international play. Big and strong.”
He’s been USA Basketball’s best three-point shooter through the team’s five warm-up games, hitting 43.5 percent from there (10 of 23). That’s on a team with Steph Curry.
He’s flown under the general public radar because he played his college ball at Indiana and, sadly, that is now best known as the place Bobby Knight used to coach. Then he has played for the Clippers, who barely ever get seen on national television (although they will be more this season).
But the guy can ball. Clippers fans and basketball junkies knew that. And soon the whole world will.