IN their own little way, Eric Gordon and the New Orleans Pelicans have found enough reason to be upbeat for the coming 2013-14 season of the NBA.
While attention has been mostly to the Houston Rockets following their acquisition of Dwight Howard and the Brooklyn Nets with the arrival of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Andrei Kirilenko, the Pelicans also made their own off-season move after acquiring Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Anthony Morrow, and center Greg Stiemsma.
Gordon said the presence of the four newcomers will definitely inject the much-needed depth for a franchise that recently switched monicker from Hornets to Pelicans.
“With the new additions we have, we’re gonna play at a faster pace. Their presence makes us very deep. It’s gonna be a very exciting training (camp) for our team,” Gordon said before a small group of sportswriters on Thursday at the Sofitel Hotel.
Gordon is in his first official visit to Manila as part of the group that will promote the NBA 3x event. He came over together with Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden, the Indiana Pacemates, and Griz, the official mascot of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Holiday, an All-Star point guard, landed on the Pelicans’ lap after being traded by the Philadelphia 76ers along with second-round rookie pick Pierre Jackson in exchange for Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick.
Noel was New Orleans’ pick at sixth overall in this year’s NBA draft.
The 6-foot-3 Gordon, who has been hobbled by wrist and ankle injuries the past year, said he’s been working hard to get back in top shape following surgery (ankle) a few months ago that limited him to just 42 games in the recent NBA season.
“That’s the main thing, for me to be 100 percent since I had my ankle surgery a few months ago, but I’m almost done rehab and will put in the work,” added the 24-year-old member of the US team that swept the opposition and won the 2010 Fiba-World Basketball Championship gold in Istanbul, Turkey.
New Orleans has posted a 48-100 win-loss record the past two seasons.