Indiana has wrestled with this issue. Before meeting Georgia Tech, the Hoosiers collapsed against Xavier, losing, 80-65, in a game in which signs of discomfort with the publicity and attention gained by freshman star Eric Gordon began to leak from the Big Red machine.
"I'm sure if you put Kelvin (Sampson) under some truth serum, he'd say they're not playing well together," [Georgia Tech coach Paul] Hewitt says. "Once they figure out they all can have their individual glory when the team does well, Indiana will be one of the best teams in the country."
What makes the minor dysfunction at Indiana curious is how rarely Gordon is shooting, relative to his 26.6-point scoring average. Star big man D.J. White doesn't have a problem. He wants to win something that counts before he leaves Indiana, preferably after this, his redshirt junior season, and he understands that a teammate with Gordon's immense talent makes achievement plausible.
It apparently just comes down to Gordon getting his pictures in magazines and his highlights on ESPN. That hasn't worked for everybody. Eventually, it must because Gordon is going to produce the kind of numbers that generate headlines and, almost invariably, benefit his teammates.Sampson says coaches can preach sacrifice and commitment to the team throughout the year, with signs and slogans tacked to locker room walls. But, he says, "When they hear that stuff in September, you're spitting into the wind. The best time is after a loss, when you can plant those seeds. And then, after a win, you can talk about the team because now they've all had a little success."
This piece is not about Eric Gordon not being a team player. It's not declared. It's not implied. I would even suggest it's impossible to infer that. It's about how a few of his teammates (as stated in the article, not fellow star D.J. White) reacted to his early success. I'm not skewing anything. Please, read the article again and explain how you can come to the conclusion you did.