Punishing the face of the franchise is not easy.
But that was what Frank Vogel had to do with Aaron Gordon on Tuesday.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported that Gordon was late for the Magic team flight to Dallas on Monday. Team officials called it a “violation of team rules” and Vogel held Gordon out of the starting lineup as a result.
The Magic are holding Aaron Gordon out of the starting lineup because of a violation of team rules. A source said Gordon was late arriving to the team plane in Orlando yesterday. So they'll start Elfrid Payton, Jonathon Simmons, Evan Fournier, Mario Hezonja and Bismack Biyombo.— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) January 10, 2018
Highlights from tonight's game not really worth seeing. But here's footage from yesterday of Aaron Gordon nearly missing the team plane pic.twitter.com/MSvQSqG2ky— O. Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) January 10, 2018
Gordon, the Magic’s leading scorer at 19.2 points per game, had previously started in all 31 games he played this season, and in 72 of 80 games last season.
Fan response to Gordon’s punishment varied on Twitter. Some thought the punishment fit the crime and that star players must play by the same rules as the 12th man at the end of the bench, and held to the same standard when they break them.
People tend to forget that playing professional basketball is an actual job. These are grown men that need to follow the similar rules and procedures as anyone would have to follow at their job. Everyone should be held accountable even Aaron Gordon.— Johnny Gonzalez (@JohnnyFrreesshh) January 10, 2018
Others felt that holding Gordon accountable in such a visible nature was unnecessary and will only create a rift between the Magic and Gordon, a player the franchise must keep happy.
Wellllll we finally got someone almost all-star worthy and now this is the part where the magic make him hate it here and trade him for a hurt vet... should we try Jennings again? #OrlandoTragic #WeGoHard— Charmelo (@charlie_magic4) January 10, 2018
We don’t know the full extent of Gordon’s transgression – or just how long the Magic team plane might have been sitting in the runway waiting for him. Either way, Gordon being late and the Magic being forced to discipline him is a bad look all around.
Was the punishment too harsh? Should it have been handled internally? Was the punishment not harsh enough? Should Gordon have been benched for the game?
Join the debate below…