For better or worse number 10 in New Orleans Pelicans franchise history is essentially Eric Gordon‘s number. Gordon, one of the key pieces to the Chris Paul trade in the summer of 2011 has been a major disappointment since arriving in New Orleans thanks to injuries yet even with his general ineffectiveness he still is far and away the best player to wear the 10 in franchise history, something that says as much about the other two as it does him.
The First to Wear #10: Darrell Armstrong, 2004
The Most Recent to Wear #10: Eric Gordon, 2011-Present
The #10 in Between: Bostjan Nachbar, 2004-2006
The number 10 got off to a rather inconspicuous start in the 2004-2005 season when veteran point guard Darrell Armstrong decided to change his number from the number 3 he wore in 2003-2004. The time the number was active was short-lived though as Armstrong played just 14 games for the Hornets that season before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Dan Dickau and a second round pick. In those 14 games Armstrong played pretty well though, averaging 10.1 points and 4.6 assists in 29.4 minutes per game for the team.
Just 24 days after Armstrong left the number 10 vacant the Hornets filled the void by trading David Wesley to the Houston Rockets for Jim Jackson and Bostjan Nachbar. Over the next two half seasons Nachbar spent 80 games in the number 10 jersey, with his finest play coming in the 55 games after being first acquired. To end the 2004-2005 season Nachbar managed to give the Hornets a knockdown shooter on the perimeter where he knocked down 37 percent of his 170 three-point attempts for the team. The next season was far different though, as Nachbar only knocked down 29.8 percent of his threes in 25 games which led to his being traded to the New Jersey Nets for Marc Jackson, Linton Johnson and some cash.
Which leads to Eric Gordon, the most recent and most successful player to wear the 10 in franchise history. Gordon arrived for the 2011-2012 season along with Al Farouq-Aminu, Chris Kaman and the draft pick that became Austin Rivers and things went sour fast. Just a few days after hitting the game winning shot in his New Orleans debut, probably the highlight of the number 10s New Orleans career, Gordon was ruled out of action with a right knee injury that would require surgery and keep him out of action for the majority of the lockout shortened season. After a testy restricted free agency period left him stuck in New Orleans Gordon played in just 42 games the following season thanks to more knee problems. This past season was probably Gordon’s finest in New Orleans as he averaged 15.4 points on 43 percent shooting in 64 games, a high during his time with the franchise.
Just on numbers we have already covered there are plenty of bad numbers in New Orleans franchise history. Number 4 is a bunch of bad NBA players after David Wesley, number 5 is full of average players without a standout and number 9 from just this morning is a fairly ugly list. Despite all of that though I wonder if many Pelicans fans would put the number 10 among the worst numbers in franchise history because of the frustration Gordon has caused. With Nachbar and Armstrong nothing special, the strength of 10 relies on Gordon and he has been so disappointing and frustrating that it isn’t a good legacy for the number at this point. At the very least number 10 is probably in the discussion for the most disappointing in franchise history, though not the worst.