Aaron Gordon Reflects on Dog Bite Incident, Time Away From Nuggets | Westword

Aaron Gordon Reflects on Dog Bite Incident, Defends His Pooch: "He's a Good Boy"

The Denver Nuggets star is blaming himself for the Christmas Day dog incident, telling reporters he was drinking and "roughhousing" with his Rottweiler.
Aaron Gordon stepped away from the Nuggets for two games following the dog bite incident.
Aaron Gordon stepped away from the Nuggets for two games following the dog bite incident. Instagram/Aaron Gordon

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"I probably had a little bit too much eggnog."

That's the explanation being offered up by Denver Nuggets star Aaron Gordon for his Christmas Day dog-bite incident, telling the Denver Post this week that he was "roughhousing" with his Rottweiler and the family pet "got a little excited." The incident left Gordon with bites to his shooting hand and face, injuries that required 21 stitches.

"For lack of better words, I was [messing] around with my dog, and when you [mess] around, you find out," he told the Post at his first practice back on December 31, after a two-game absence. "I guess it's a little bit embarrassing, but not too embarrassing to where I can't talk about it."

According to Gordon, he consumed copious amounts of eggnog following the Nuggets' 120-114 win over the Golden State Warriors on December 25, which led to the reported roughhousing. His Rottweiler, which usually stays with Gordon's father because of his NBA travel schedule, "basically chomped down" on the power forward while the two were playing.

"I don't drink a lot during the season," he explained. "I was basically wrestling him off of me, and then he bit my hand."

Despite the severity of his injuries, Gordon said he was "all good" and confirmed that "everything's good" before the Nuggets took on the Charlotte Hornets on January 1. Showing his sense of humor, Gordon sported a bejeweled bulldog chain with his pre-game outfit.

"That dude is special, honestly," said Nuggets teammate Reggie Jackson. "You've seen the chain. You've seen how he takes everything in stride. Love the guy. Love his spirit. ...Bizarre situation, but just so happy to have him. He's our heartbeat."

When the Nuggets first reported the incident, little was revealed about the attack, other than it occurred on Christmas and left Gordon with injuries that required him to step away from the team indefinitely.

"Right now it’s open-ended," Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone said of Gordon's availability on December 27. "We need him to heal inside and out. Going through something like that is not something you come back from easily. That’s something where you have to heal from the physical, but you also have to heal from the mental and what you just went through.”

Because of the lack of information, many people were asking questions online about the incident and assuming the worst: that Gordon's own dog had bitten him and that animal protective services were involved, citing Malone's comments as evidence of something bigger going on.

The Nuggets declined to respond to Westword when asked for more details. The Associated Press was told by a person with knowledge of the situation that it was a "family dog" that bit Gordon, but no other information was provided.

Photos posted on social media by Gordon's sister and others who were with him over the holiday weekend showed Gordon's Rottweiler sitting calmly for the camera; Gordon had posted photos of the dog before on Instagram
click to enlarge Denver Nuggers star Aaron Gordon posing with friends and family for a photo.
Photos posted on social media show Aaron Gordon with his dog on Christmas Day.
Instagram/Elise Gordon
In Colorado, medical professionals are required to report all domestic animal bites to state and county health departments within twelve hours, according to health officials. "If he got stitches, [a medical professional] was definitely involved and a bite report was issued," according to Arapahoe County Animal Services Field Supervisor Alyssa Haden. "Any hospital, any medical treatment agency, has to report it at least to the state."

Josh Rolf, a lieutenant for Denver Animal Protection, told Westword that the Gordon incident wasn't reported in the Mile High City, so it likely didn't happen in Denver or just wasn't reported.

Despite the circumstances, Gordon holds no grudges toward his pup.

"He’s a good boy. He’s a good dog," he told the Post. "Very attached. Very sweet. Very strong. Great dog."

Gordon is expected to be in the Nuggets starting lineup again tonight, January 4 — his second game back — for a road contest against the Warriors. He scored ten points and recorded two rebounds in his return on Monday against Charlotte.

“I’ve played with stitches in my hand before, so that’s not new to me,” he told the Post. "I don’t really care about the stitches on my face. We’re not running a pageant here."
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