Ben Gordon was drafted by the Bulls in 2004, and he quickly left his mark on the franchise and fans. Gordon became the first player in NBA history to earn Sixth Man of the Year honors as a rookie. Today, he is out of the league.
Gordon was a fan favorite, playing his sixth man role to perfection in Chicago.
The University of Connecticut shooting guard was taken third overall. He quickly proved to be a dynamic scorer who was able to turn the tide of a game in a matter of minutes. As a Bull he shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range, far above the league average.
The 6-foot-2 guard was a prolific shot-maker during his time in Chicago. His run with the Bulls will be most remembered by his high-arching 3-point shots and even higher floaters. Gordon averaged 18.5 points per game with the Bulls.
Derrick Rose won the Rookie of the Year award in Gordon’s last season in Chicago, yet it was Gordon who led the Bulls in scoring, starting in a career high 76 games during 2008-09. He also led the team in scoring during their epic playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
His final year in Chicago earned Gordon a five-year, $50 million deal with the Pistons in 2009.
Over the last six years of his 11-year NBA career, Gordon averaged just over 10 points per game, starting in a combined 65 games. After leaving the Bulls he played for three different teams. During his last two seasons in the league, with the Hornets and the Magic respectively, he played in a total of 75 games averaging only 5.7 points per game in his limited playing time.
After the Magic declined to pick up Gordon’s team option, he spent the 2015 offseason trying to re-energize his body. The defending champion Warriors invited him to training camp. He played in only two preseason games before he was cut.
Gordon made $84 million during his playing career. Today, at 33, his NBA career is likely over. There is a chance Bulls fans could see Gordon play overseas, if he still has the itch.
If he does return to the hardwood, the man who for a brief time was known as Air Gordon is sure to dazzle fans with his patented rainbow 3-pointers. And maybe one of his infamous celebrations too (see above).