What happened to this poor basterd? He broke into the league with Orlando back in 2002 averaging 14 points and 8 boards as a rookie. Over his 8 year career, he is still hovering around the exact same stats, with averages of 12 pts and 8 boards in 28 minutes per.
This guy hit his ceiling quite fast. There are 2 things that really confuse me about Gooden.
1. Why has he not improved any? Is it his work ethic? Is it the teams he has played for and his role on those teams? Most players develop new skill sets or improve on their games form their rookie years, because they adapt to the NBA game. Not so with Gooden.
2. Why does nobody ever want this guy? A guy with 12 and 8 at the forward spot is a nice addition to have. Teams with a star guard or small forward should be able to utilize him more. I would think he would do nicely with Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Derron Williams, etc... but those guys seem to be set in their forward positions with guys like West, Amare and Boozer.
After this recent trade, Gooden has now played for 8 teams in the NBA over 8 seasons. It is really quite crazy to think that he can't find a home.
I am not a fan of him in any way, I really know very little about his game. I am curious about him, for the very reason that I see his name in trade talks more than any other player in the league. Skilled big men are hard to find and his stats aren't too bad. He is also a "good guy," in fact being named The Sporting News' "Good Guy in Sports" several years ago.
If I had to guess, I would say his skills don't include a mid-range jumper. I can only guess at this, because I am a Phoenix fan and Raptors fan mostly, so I don't get to see him play. Now with the Clippers, I actually expect his numbers to improve. With the Spurs, there are a lot of scorers to lessen his stats. In Cleveland, he won't get many touches with LBJ. In the second LA team, he will see a lot of touches.
This actually bothers me, because it will inflate his worth. This will get him a bigger contract the next time he signs and then will be bounced around again as a bit player with a large contract that he earned on a bad team. It will be interesting to see what happens with the new contracts/bargaining agreement to come in the very near future. As for Gooden, hopefully a fresh start (sarcasm off) will let him develop his A-game (if he has one).
Check out my hobby website with movie reviews, torrents and a forum to discuss everything from sports, to video games, to movies.