Hornets coach Monty Williams on Eric Gordon: 'We still love him'

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Eric Gordon ripped the Hornets for the way they have handled his free agency, but Hornets coach Monty Williams said the organization "still loves him." (Harry How/Getty Images)


New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams said Sunday that he was not upset at Eric Gordon for some recent comments expressing his displeasure with the way the Hornets are handling his free agency.

"I don't take it seriously. What Eric said is not who he is. It's unfortunate because people at home are pretty upset about it," Williams told The Times Picayune on Sunday.

"Everywhere I go, somebody's got something to say. What I would say is 'Let's understand how we were when we were 23.' Give the kid some mercy. We still love him. We're not upset with him. We understand the process. It's unfortunate that it happened this way, but that's just a part of it."

Gordon signed a maximum contract with the Phoenix Suns late Tuesday night. But the Hornets have the right to match the deal because Gordon is a restricted free agent. However, Gordon has said his "heart" was in Phoenix, and he told reporters in Las Vegas on Friday that he would be disappointed if the Hornets matched the offer.

"If (the Hornets) were interested, there wouldn't have been no tour, there wouldn't have been nothing," Gordon said, according to The Times Picayune. "There's been no negotiations. I was right there in Indiana. I haven't received no calls, to me personally."

But despite Gordon's displeasure, the Hornets have repeatedly insisted they plan to match the Suns' offer. They have three days to match starting July 11, when free agents can officially sign with teams. Williams, though, thinks Gordon's sentiment will "blow over" with time.

"I did the same thing when I was that age," said Williams, who played nine years in the NBA. "You want what your peers get. You want more and none of us are worth this kind of money. I try not to get much further than that. I think it's unfortunate that it was played out this way. But I think it will blow over soon."