Sometimes fortune smiles upon you, and last night was one of those nights. I spent about a half hour discussing Ben Gordon's new documentary with Daemian Brown, the director, producer, and long time friend of Ben about the documentary. After hearing more about it, I think it has a chance to be very special.
The documentary starts on March 1st, as the Bulls are hoping to make a charge to the playoffs and continues on through his signing with the Pistons recounting the playoff chase, playoffs against Boston, and the free agent wooing process all from the perspective of a star player in a contract year.
Think back to how special that time period was. The great run up to the playoffs where the Bulls are blasting good teams at home and come from behind in the standings to get in up until the choke in the final game of the season forcing us to face Boston rather than Orlando.
The absolutely epic playoff series where our subject has one of the most memorable shots of the past decade. All through the perspective of a player in a contract year who then enters into free agency.
It's such a unique perspective to view a unique period, and unlike a typical documentary, Daemian had unlimited access and the complete trust of Ben. He'll offer up a candid view of Gordon showing his off-court life throughout the process as well as his on court one. The documentary is being completed prior to finding a sponsor for it, so it promises to be the story Ben and Daemian want to tell rather than the story that ESPN (or whomever) wants to create.
Over the course of the conversation, I also had a unique opportunity to discuss Gordon with someone who gets to see the real Ben Gordon and got to ask a lot of questions about how Ben viewed his teammates, the city, and the organization.
One surprising thing I heard was that Gordon truly loved being in Chicago. In fact, he just left Chicago for Detroit a few days ago, spending his whole summer here. That surprises me largely due to how under appreciated Gordon felt to me in the city and clearly at this point, there's no PR reason to project out a love for the city which he's leaving.
Other comments didn't surprise me. Gordon's ability to compartmentalize the negotiation process and treat it like any business negotiation. His understanding of where the Bulls were coming from even if it didn't match where he was. So though he had disagreements over his value with management he maintained strong relationship with his teammates, especially Deng and Noah and any arguments about Hinrich vs Gordon doesn't extend past the fans.
There were hints that Gordon felt slighted at times though, we discussed Gordon's rookie season, and how the Bulls didn't make a strong push to publicize him for rookie of the year, instead pushing all of their rookies in one campaign when Gordon was the only one with a realistic chance to win.
The documentary promises to offer a unique perspective covering an exciting time in Bulls history, and I think it's a must watch for Bulls fans when released even if we already know it doesn't come with a happy ending.