Monday, November 24, 2008

Case of the Mondays: Eddie Got Fired

No matter how bad your Monday was, it wasn't nearly as bad as it was for that guy:

The Wizards have relieved Coach Eddie Jordan of his duties. Jordan was informed of the decision this morning around 8 a.m. shortly after he and his wife, Charrisse, handed out Thanksgiving turkeys to the needy at a team-sponsored charitable event. Associate Head Coach Mike O'Koren was also let go.

Can't exactly say he didn't have it coming. It doesn't matter that Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood are out with long-term injuries. There is no way this team could start 1-10 and Jordan could get to keep his job.

I told JJ recently that I didn't believe owner Abe Pollin would make the move, despite the fact that it was the right decision. Pollin's history of loyalty speaks for itself (Wes Unseld, anyone?) and I thought the fact that Jordan has presided over the team for four consectutive playoff seasons would see him remain at least until the end of the season. I was wrong, though, and I'm glad I was.

To put this into some perspective, this franchise hasn't made the playoffs that many times in a row since 1976-1980, a run which included 1978's NBA title and a Finals appearance in 1979. Furthermore, not only was Jordan the Eastern Conference's longest-tenured coach, but he was also the THIRD-LONGEST TENURED COACH IN THE NBA behind Jerry Sloan and Greg Popovich! Pure insanity.

If he was going to be fired though, now would have to be the time. The truth is that the team has succeeded in spite of Eddie Jordan. His rotations make no sense. He can't diagram any kind of set play that actually works. His lack of a defensive culture has been mind-boggling. This year's 1-10 start was the final straw, with many of these losses being inexcusable (New York two nights ago, Atlanta and Miami, only to name a few).

So, happy trails to Coach Jordan. Ed Tapscott will replace him on an interim basis, if for no other reason than the fact that he looks almost exactly like Eddie Jordan and maybe the players won't be able to tell the difference. The only place I'm concerned about a difference being made is in the win column.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't be happier with the decision, and as someone who thought I wasn't a good coach even when our record was much better, I'm that some good can come of this horrific start.

    That being said, the popular opinion that Eddie Jordan somehow got a raw deal baffles me. Do these people not watch wizards games?

    Unslient Majority's
    Q and A
    does a good job of giving the opinion of a fan who clearly does watch the games, and sums it up well:

    The team was regressing before our very eyes and it was becoming apparent that Coach Jordan was losing the locker room. It was apparent in the way he coached and spoke publicly during the losing stretch. Jordan seemed to have run out of ideas for what to do with this roster. People will point to the injuries and Gilbert’s contracts as reasons why the team was losing, but there is way too much talent on the roster for the team to be this bad, and plenty of the 10 losses have been winnable. At some point you just have to ask what the hell the coach is thinking when he’s playing a lineup with no shooting guard and no center* during crucial minutes.

    That sounds about right, or you could go with the times we went with the "everybody do what they feel like" brand of the Princeton offense that we'd switch to for 15 to 20 minutes a game.

    I think at some point last year it became ok to defend Eddie Jordan by just repeating something positive about the Princeton offense. When was the last time we ran the Princeton offense for more that 20 plays a game? Saying we've run a Princeton offense the last two years is the equivalent of saying this year's Michigan team ran the spread. You can say it as many times as you want, it just isn't true.

    Eddie Jordan is obviously a very nice man, and a local guy which makes this all the harder. He lead our team to the playoffs for multiple years after a very very long time in the wilderness. But he isn't a good coach. He'll be fine, he'll be the first in line for whatever job opens up next because... well because, it's the nba, and there is always a market for a below average coach.

    But now we can move on, maybe see some sort of shot disciple, a coherent rotation, intelligent match up defense, and maybe, just maybe, have a chance of salvaging this season.