Grunfeld: "1 and 10 Not Acceptable"

Team President Ernie Grunfeld answered a bunch of questions regarding his decision to fire Eddie Jordan this morning and replace Jordan with Ed Tapscott, but the thing he kept coming back to was the team's 1-10 record.

First a couple of notes:

- Grunfeld said that Tapscott will be the coach through the remainder of the season, at which point "we evaluate everything."

- Grunfeld wouldn't say exactly when he reached a decision but said it has been "building," and then the final decision came "quickly." He informed Jordan early this morning, around 8 a.m. and called Tapscott in to name him coach shortly after that. Tapscott said he came to work this morning having "no idea" what was in store for him.

-Grunfeld said he considered Randy Ayers but went withTapscott because of his level of comfort with the man. They go back to the early '90s when Ernie was running the Knicks.

-Tapscott ran his first practice this morning and it went longer than usual. That was because he wanted to emphasize a small set of key principles that he wants put into place right away. " I wanted to make sure that we had a good, hard, sharp practice," Tapscott said.

-Tapscott said he would likely go with a starting lineup of JaVale McGee, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Dee Brown and wants to trim down to a reliable rotation of eight or nine players.

-I have called Eddie Jordan but have not yet heard from him. On a personal note, he's always been nothing but a class act and total professional with me and other reporters and I respect him a great deal. He'll be a coach again very soon, I promise you that.

Grunfeld on the decision to make the change:

"We have not performed up to our abilities," Grunfeld said. "We have two all stars on this team and we have some very talented young players and some savvy veterans and we have to get them to play at a high level. Therefore, I felt a change needed to be made."

On Tapscott: "We hired Eddie Tapscott, whom I've known many years. He's a very respected basketball man. He's been in basketball for close to 35 years, the professional ranks close to 16, 20 years. He's an outstanding communicator, a very good motivator and he understands his x's and o's. I think he's going to do a very good job for us."

Tapscott has not coached a game as the head man since his days at American University in the late '80s so he admitted that he'll have some "butterflies" going tomorrow night when he makes his debut against the Golden State Warriors.

His first order of business will be, wait for it, tightening things up at the defensive end of the floor.

Tapscott: "We're better than 1-10. We know it and we're all responsible. So, we're going to preach accountability and unity on this team. We all have to be accountable for what we do, we have to have greater unity. I really believe we've got to get better defensively. The numbers say that, our peformance says that. We have to play with a greater physical presence. We need to guard the rim, guard the lane and be a more physical team."

More on defense: "First of all, we have to protect the rim and the lane. We've been a little sievelike. Many people go down the lane. If you don't protect the rim and the lane, people will continue to drive it on us. And then as we try and scramble and catch up, squeeze in, out goes the pass to the three-point line and needless to say, there have been a barrage of three-point shots attempted and made against us. So, our philosophy will be to protect the rim and the lane. Fold out and run people off of the three-point line and make people take contested two point shots contested off the dribble. That's the most difficult shot to make in the NBA."

- Only a few players stopped to talk to the media today including Antawn Jamison, Juan Dixon and Nick Young. Caron Butler rolled out with a hood over his head and said "I just can't do it today, sorry." Butler almost never says no to a interview, win or lose, good game or bad so that was telling. Gilbert Arenas was nowhere to be found.

- An agitated Jamison (and he's almost never agitated) when asked by a TV talking head whether Jordan "deserved it" : "Next question."

Was he shocked: "I was shocked. Why would I not be shocked?"
Reporter: "Because the team is 1-10 sometimes that happens when a team is 1-10."
Jamison: "The team is 1-10, not the coaching staff. Next question."

More Jamison: "As players you take the responsibility for going out there and getting the job done and we didn't get it done. Unfortunately they got rid of coach and we have to take it from there."

I have a lot of tape to break down, a few more calls to make and a ton of writing to do so check back later for more here on the blog ...

By Ivan Carter |  November 24, 2008; 4:28 PM ET
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Tough words from AJ.

Posted by: lindaloulubbock | November 24, 2008 4:34 PM

EG sucks

Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 4:41 PM

They're NOT better than 1-10, to be honest. They have no continuity offensively, no point guard and no healthy experienced center. You can make up for that with great guard play, and, wait for it - our great guard play is on the IR. It's a horrid team right now that's not getting better until it gets healthy.

Posted by: aaronweiner | November 24, 2008 4:41 PM

Again, regardless of what you think of his game, gotta give Jamison props for being a stand-up guy and leader. He's made it clear from day 1 that he holds the lax effort of the players responsible for the team's struggles. Given a chance to shift the blame onto Jordan as he's kicked to the curb, he doesn't take the bait.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 4:41 PM

Anyone who expects better results (with the same roster) from a coach with no NBA experience, and whose college experience is 20 years out of date, is drinking some strong Kool-aid.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 4:43 PM

hey ivan i heard the pc. i am glad you stood up for eddie and said he did not pay gilbert he did not injury brendan haywood. but my question to you is where do we go from here

Posted by: xpoc2 | November 24, 2008 4:44 PM

i cant wait to read GA blog. Over/under 3 pages for that post? im going over

Posted by: NFeKPo | November 24, 2008 4:45 PM

Just another example of the incredibly inept ownership and management of sports franchises in Washington, D.C. No wonder we won't ever be more than a bush league city.

Posted by: ghchuck | November 24, 2008 4:47 PM

"They're NOT better than 1-10, to be honest."

I agree and it was only time before this whole thing exploded.

I heard your questions at the presser Ivan, good job! :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | November 24, 2008 4:49 PM

i love how EG says 1-10 is not acceptable and then hires his a$$-clown friend who hasn't coached a game since the eighties for the duration

Les f(_)(kin' Boules

Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 4:50 PM

"They're not better than 1-10..."

I think they are. 5 and 6, maybe, if they were playing their best.

They say coaches are hired to be fired. GMs, too, eventually. Can't fire the players or the owner, so who's left?

Sure doesn't sound like Jordan 'lost' the team, the way they say Avery Johnson lost the Mavericks.

Ed Tapscott is a good basketball man, even though they ran him out of Charlotte on a rail. But can he do anything to boost the Wiz this season? If you think they're playoff-bound under Tapscott, head on over to Laurel and put $50 on it.

Me, I'm stayin' home.

Grunfeld calls the 1&10 start 'unacceptable'. To the fans, maybe.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 24, 2008 4:55 PM

Eddie gets to do something else for the next two years while getting paid his full salary. Eddie was under a lot of stress and maybe this is the best for him. He will do well somewhere else. I hope the players realize they are very responsible for what happened. Ernie is very responsible too.

Ernie gets to evaluate how good his draft choices are. If they play like they have played so far, Ernie might want the same deal that Eddie got.

Posted by: JoeC2 | November 24, 2008 4:56 PM

What a bunch of BS! Grunfield should be fired. Eddie has taken this team to the playoffs the last 4 years.

Ed Tapscott has not coached since the 80's and that was a college team? Please.

The players loved Eddie...and it's Thanksgiving. Ernie sucks.

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 24, 2008 4:58 PM

as much the Ej haters preach, he did not deserve this.

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | November 24, 2008 5:00 PM

This whole pathetic episode shows that the Curse of Les Boulez is self-inflicted.

I guess you appoint an inexperienced head coach at this point to make sure you don't miss the lottery. But EG, is that really necessary? This team's woeful roster is quite enough in itself to assure a lottery appearance.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | November 24, 2008 5:00 PM

i hope EG's day comes soon when Les Boules go 2-69 under the new "coach"

Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 5:06 PM

what worries me most is that grunfeld stated that tapscott will be the coach for the remainder of the season. no offense to tapscott, but when you name someone as the 'interim' coach for the rest of the season, and he hasn't coached for over 20 years, that means you have effectively called it 'quits' for this season.

if you were going to do that, you might as well just have let jordan finish out the season.

Posted by: segastyle | November 24, 2008 5:12 PM

those who are upset about the firing of eddie jordan are the same people who were crying when michael jordan got canned, did he deserve to get fired? no, but in the big business of professional sports sometimes change is good and i just read an article by david aldridge who quoted unnamed league sources who said it looked like the wizards had given up, so make a change its not like they fired phil jackson or red auerbach. those who want to fire ernie grunfield remember where the team was when he took over, traded stack for jamison, kwame for caron, and signed gil when nobody saw gil as an all nba player. i am sure ernie has a plan and i am sure it is a good one

Posted by: billy12 | November 24, 2008 5:12 PM

This is absolutely absurd. I agree with Jamison 100%. This season is not Jordan's fault! The blame squarely rests with Grunfeld. Grunfeld should be the one who is losing his job. He has done a terrible job. This roster is a mess. No cap flexibility, and there wont be for a long time. All the young players are strictly one-dimensional, and the team has no depth. He put this team in a tough corner with no way out.

I wish Pollin would dump Grunfeld, the housecleaning needs to start at the top with this GM who has done a terrible job.

Posted by: Roman5 | November 24, 2008 5:21 PM

"those who are upset about the firing of eddie jordan are the same people who were crying when michael jordan got canned"


"did he deserve to get fired? no,"

And wrong again.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 5:23 PM

For reference, here is a list of the worst team records in NBA history:

The 2008-2009 Wizards are going to make this list. And that's a good thing.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | November 24, 2008 5:29 PM

Can't fire the team & you can't fire the EG.
Same ppl here who criticized are the same who cheered the over the hill gang's resigning this summer.

Can't have both ways unless u are bi.

Posted by: Rocc00 | November 24, 2008 5:31 PM

I rarely comment anymore on this board and while I liked Eddie and feel he probably got a raw deal, something had to be done. Abe and EG could not wait until Arenas came back because it would have been too late.

As for Tapscott, seems like a very knowledgeable guy, but he hasn't coached a game in 20 years! There was a reason he got out to be an executive. If he can get the guys to play defense and somehow got them back in the playoff hunt, he deserves a 5-year contract and part-ownership. All this town wants is a good product, a team that plays hard and some excitement. Oh yeah, and DeShawn Stevenson coming off the bench.

Posted by: davedaily2000 | November 24, 2008 5:33 PM

With all due respect to Eddie, this team is 1-10. Just last week, when asked what was wrong with the team, Eddie had no answer other than to point out the obvious lack of talent on the roster and the fact we're now playing what is essentially our 4th string PG. Not something you want to want to hear from your leader. I think 1-10 was getting to Eddie just as much as the players and he needed to be above that. I wish him the best of luck - and I'm sure he'll be back in DC next year on the bench with some team in some capacity.

All of that said, Tapscott is a SMART dude. He knows basketball and I think he'll help correct a few of the mistakes the young guys have been making and build a set rotation. I don't think he's a long term solution, but he definitely knows his stuff.

Posted by: richardharless | November 24, 2008 5:39 PM

"if you were going to do that, you might as well just have let jordan finish out the season."

Except if they let Eddie stay on and he managed to turn things around and somehow got them into the playoffs, then Grunfeld would have been stuck with him.

On some level this is about Jordan having been hired by Pollin without any input from Grunfeld. Regardless of what he may have thought about the job Eddie did, GMs like to hire "their own guys" as coaches. One of the first things that usually happens when a new GM takes over is that the holdover coach is show the door. Grunfeld was stuck with Jordan and as long as he kept getting the team into the playoffs, despite all of the injuries and obstacles, there was nothing Grunfeld could do.

The 1-10 record was a chance to change that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 5:41 PM

i am sure ernie has a plan and i am sure it is a good one

Posted by: billy12 | November 24, 2008 5:12 PM

LMAO. is step one giving giving the head coaching job to some no-count a$$ clown?? whats step 2? tearing down the phone booth to recover the Earl the Pearl jersey??

ur delusional GUY. EG squanders the entire offseason then blames it on the coach!

Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 5:42 PM

"Just last week, when asked what was wrong with the team, Eddie had no answer other than to point out the obvious lack of talent on the roster and the fact we're now playing what is essentially our 4th string PG."

What other answer does he need?. That IS the only answer, right there.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 5:42 PM

EJ has his weaknesses (lack of emphasis on defense, until last year he did not give a great defender like Haywood the minutes he deserved) but when you consider he took a Wizards team to the playoffs: three straight years; and last year without Arenas, I think it's hard to justify firing him. Washington should not be 1-10, but without it's best offensive player and it's best defensive player this is not a good team, and like Jamison said not the coach's fault.

Posted by: buckworthy | November 24, 2008 5:45 PM

All this town wants is a good product, a team that plays hard and some excitement. Oh yeah, and DeShawn Stevenson coming off the bench.

Posted by: davedaily2000 | November 24, 2008 5:33 PM

speak for yourself. NY does not make 3s, make sweet passes, and does not force turnovers. Deshawn was 5th in basketball last week with 5.8 apg. He's also really cool. Until someone teaches NY about defense, he will be a liability.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 5:47 PM

As a player, you should always examine yourself before blaming coach, and Jamison did the right thing (not just saying the right ting, I believe Jamison is sincere). However, as an outside observer, the team is 1-10, and people scramming about EJ shouldn't be fired? Must be the holiday season!

The decision is based on this season, not the seasons before. EJ can longer have this team play effectively. This is the cold fact that some have chosen to ignore. Had the record being 4-7, EJ would have still kept his job! I don't know about Tapscott, but Ayer will be the first assistant. This is a good thing, I hope the team can play better 3-pt defense. For those who insist this is a 1-10 team, are you willing to put down money and bet the team will continue to loose more than 90% of the games with the same roster? I am waiting.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2008 5:57 PM

"However, as an outside observer, the team is 1-10, and people scramming about EJ shouldn't be fired? "

Yes, because an outside observer would certainly know more about the situation than someone involved in it on a daily basis.

"This is the cold fact that some have chosen to ignore. "

No, that is unfounded conjecture that some have chosen to treat as fact. There's a difference.

"I don't know about Tapscott, but Ayer will be the first assistant. This is a good thing,"

Based on what? His barely above .500 record as a college coach (from almost 10 years ago)? Or his .barely above .400 record as an NBA head coach? People act like Ayers is some kind of coaching genius. I don't see the proof.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 6:06 PM

Had the record being 4-7, EJ would have still kept his job!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2008 5:57 PM

only because Grundlefeld wouldn't have a plausible scapegoat... he had to act fast in case Hibachi comes back and they somehow win 30 games.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 6:07 PM

Get over it....EJ is done here in DC.

If Les BouleS can survive the multiple worse debacles that it's suffered including Juwan Howard, Gar Heard, Rod Strickland, CWebb, Leonard Hamilton, Michael Jordan, Gilby, Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Kwame Brown, Dougie Collins, Bernard King, etc., then it can survive the firing of EJ.

Good luck EJ with your future. I'm sure you and your family will be fine.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 6:12 PM

"I don't know about Tapscott, but Ayer will be the first assistant. This is a good thing,"

Based on what? His barely above .500 record as a college coach (from almost 10 years ago)? Or his .barely above .400 record as an NBA head coach? People act like Ayers is some kind of coaching genius. I don't see the proof.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 6:06 PM


Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 6:13 PM

EG will probably hire his boy Thibideaux from Boston.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 6:14 PM

I think Jordan had earned at least a half season, if not a full one. Eleven games is too soon for someone with his standing; albeit eleven painful ones. Give him until Arenas comes back plus another 15 games.

Course by the time Zero is back, they'll be so far out of a playoff spot it won't matter.

Remember, too, that they still have to get fannies in the seats.

It is, after all, a business.

So, my hunch is that they simply couldn't write off the entire season and send a signal to the fans (present and future), particularly those with season/purchased tickets, that they're offering up a lousy product.

Tapscott's a stopgap measure until they see what they have with the returns of Arenas and Haywood. If they can come back this year.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 24, 2008 6:17 PM

A telling sign of how this organization works. Fire the coach with no plan. An intern coach. Would the Lakers be doing it like this?

Posted by: alaskan_teleman | November 24, 2008 6:28 PM

I have mixed feelings like some. Management needs to let the fans (all the fans, including casual ones) know that 1-10 just won't do. It's most definately not fair and not deserved....yet, in the era of gauranteed deals, what should they have done? Nothing? I could see a trade I guess, but the most tradable players are probably the most popular (Butler, McGee). I'm really really bummed about it, my wife was in tears when she heard, yet somehow, as a real fan who has followed various professional sports necessarily including economic implications, I think I understand.

Posted by: patrick15 | November 24, 2008 6:29 PM

Great decision to fire EJ, but bad to choose this guy for the rest of the season.

The wizards need a top notch coach right away not next season...Ernie is dissapointing with this... there is Avery Johnson and Jeff van Gundy...!!!Hire one of them!!!! Any of them will take the Wizards to the eastern conference finals.

We are tired of paying for expensive tickets and keep seeing this team lose.

Posted by: comitecivicousa | November 24, 2008 6:34 PM

All of you people screaming that EG sucks were the same short-sighted chicken littles who called JaVale "JaBust" right here on this site. Yes, you know who you are. Was this fair? Probably not, on some level---the last time EJ had a healthy team, the Wizards had the best record in the East and he coached the All Star game. That said, please tell me (apart from being REALLY likable) what he brought to the table? The Wizards defense, over his entire tenure, could NOT have been any worse. He is said to be a bright offensive mind. Great. I, for one, am tired of watching a stagnant offense that (if anything) weaves back and forth above the lane or (more likely) is stagnant until the shot clock forces the team to take an ill-advised 3. This offense was horrific for long stretches last year, and worse this year. True he didn't have his full roster. It is also true he DID have two all stars.

I'd argue that EG's moves, since he has been here, have been mostly phenomenal. Should they have figured out how to re-sign Mason? Probably. Would Pollin let him? Only those two know. Draft Pech was a stretch, but that late, you gotta take risks to find big men. It didn't work, ok. Blatche has all the tools---who knew whether he'd be motivated or not? I still take that gamble. And he appears (early results, obviously) to have finally hit on a mid- to late-first rounder with McGee.

The measure of EG, to me, will be this: Who does he hire now? I suspect it will NOT be a re-tread, but rather someone who either is a proven winner (Flip Saunders) or who has not yet been a head coach. And we'll see how that works out.

One last thought: Best wishes to EJ. He was the best coach we've had since I was a little boy (I'm 42 now.) That's a VERY long time. 4 straight years in the playoffs, rarely with a fullly healthy team. Thanks for some great memories, EJ. We appreciate all you did and trust you'll land on a bench in the very near future.

Posted by: psdfx | November 24, 2008 6:39 PM

eddie jordan lost his team therefore he had to go, some of you need to stop crying and move on. ej great guy, average to above average coach, lost his team, lost his job deal with it

Posted by: billy12 | November 24, 2008 6:42 PM

ET's projected 7 or 8 man rotation:

AJ, CB, NY, AB, JM, DSteve, DM, OP

Hello 20 win season...

Posted by: oddjob2 | November 24, 2008 6:42 PM

Avery Johnson? Steinberg would probably explode.

Posted by: patrick15 | November 24, 2008 6:45 PM

I never was a rider of the "Fire Eddie Band Wagon" that was running around on this site the last couple of years. Like every other fan, Eddie could frustrate the devil out of me with some of his coaching decisions.

As smart as all of us armchair coaches think we are, there's not one of us that can lay claim to getting undermanned team to play over their head time and time again. This Wizards team has overacheived and gotten to the playoffs dispite of numerous injuries to key players and a thin bench.

Eddie was well liked, and was a hometown boy that came home to help turn around the mess that MJ left when his two year return to the court was over. All of that being said, it was time for Eddie to go.

With Arenas and Haywood down and Daniels playing on one leg, half of the Wizards top six players aren't available. Not sure there's a team in the NBA that could survive that. After the last two seasons ending ruined by injuries, the frustration level of fans, players, and yes, Eddie Jordan couldn't weather this storm.

The reason Eddie had to go was he wasn't the man to turn his back on the Vets that he managed to get to play over their heads and carry an undermanned team to the playoffs time after time. Right now, Daniels, Stevenson, Thomas,& Songaila are part of the team's past. Could Eddie sit these guys and play the kids with all of their mistakes?

At 1 and 10 and Haywood gone for the season and Arenas for probably about half the year, a lottery trip seems to be in the cards. Playing the kids and taking the lumps that go with it seems to be the only logical choice at this point.

Ed Tapscott was hired to bolster the Wizard's development of their young players. His job til this season is to sort out which of these kids are keepers and how the peices will fit around the three allstars.

Looking at the stress on Eddie's face from going 1-10, he wasn't the guy to ride out this year and evalute the kids. Is that fair? No. Did the Wizard's have a better option? That remains to be seen...

Posted by: flohrtv | November 24, 2008 7:01 PM

I think in some deep recess of EJ's mind, he'll be happy about this change. Think about? How often, as a fired coach, do you get the built-in excuses that he has? Plus he has that 1-year extension money to fall back on. I think the EJ family will have more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving than if he was still coaching this sorry-ass team. Imagine, EJ will be home for the holiday, not worrying about trying to stay afloat amidst all these injuries. And his paycheck still keeps rolling in.

Posted by: tundey | November 24, 2008 7:14 PM

Oh OK it is holiday season, and this is bad timning. Something like Asong coming in with a lead and seeing it vanish post haste.
EJ is going to be just fine, what with the extension for millions. And if he is so well thought of as so many think, he will land solidly.
I am ecstatic, and know EG was waiting for this opportunity to make a constructive change.
Yes we madee the playoffs, in a disfunctional divison, and then proceeded to be non competitive against the better teams in the playoffs.
This team has a good nucleus, esp when GA returns.
The loss of BH, is not that significant. He is ordinary at best. No inide game, slow feet, non athletic and bad bad hands.
Also he was not going to get necessary court time with Etan's return. It was another travesty about to happen under the tutelage of EJ.
I am excited, and look forward to a more intense defensive scheme, the demise of the "Princeton", which could actually mean pick and rolls to create mis matches, and drive and kick outs.
The 3 point shot is the home run of the NBA.
It has to be defended and to be a big part of the offense. Neither Gary Williams or EJ get it.
Player rotations have to start with your best players on the floor, in their best poistions for the majority of the game.
This has not been happening under EJ.
Also the flow of the game has to dictate the substitutions, not prejudices, arrogance or dog houses.
As for JMcGhee...I am in Baltimore, and we heard the same crap about rookies, and experience and level of competition. Well circumstances dictated the start of Joe Flacco, with the same dogma of criticism that detractors established for JMC. Flacco is leading the Ravens in spite of the premature criticism and concerns. Oh and yes a rookie halfback is also performing and leading.
Tell me who is better at the 5 than Mcghee right now, and with tremendous upside.
Ej gave lip service to starting JMc, and wound up replacing him post haste, never to be seen...oh sorry, last 45 seconds.
Let's all hope this is a new beginning, a positive one.
The deed is done...the onus is now on EG, and I wish him and the franchise well, as I also do for EJ.

Posted by: maxman2162 | November 24, 2008 7:17 PM

Wow the amount of people defending Eddie on this blog is shocking. Just the last game on this blog and other blogs everybody was calling for his head.

Now that it was done, we have all these people now blaming Ernie and screaming this is not fair. I was one of the people calling for Eddie's head after the Knicks game. Before that Eddie was still cool with me and I thought he had finally turned the corner in his rotation calls in the Houston game and I wanted to see him stay here as coach.

But low and behold, Eddie went back to what he has been doing the past year and half since Gil has been out. The constant display of slow small-ball with Song. in the middle finally wore on Ernie like it did many fans.

That game he coached in NY was Eddie trying to stick it to Ernie in my opinion. It looks like he played Song the whole second half just to spite Ernie. Then to make his point he brings in McGee with 45 seconds left knowing the game was lost. Now what that says to me is Eddie was saying I put the young boy in when I want to and nobody, including you Ernie, will tell me different.

Then on top of that, to say after the game he sat CB down for a long streach because he was not bringing it on defense probably was the last straw. Quentin was hitting threes because of Eddie's VERY FLAWED defense that allows wide open look's at 3's. To blame CB for that was not cool...

Should Eddie maybe got more time, yea maybe. However, Eddie has shown no signs he was willing to change his defense or the way he played the young boys.

That NY game doomed him. The way he coached that game was not NBA coaching and Eddie probably did not have his heart in this job anymore.

The man is not dumb, so he was not going to just quit and lose his money this year and next. So what does he do, play Songalia almost the whole second half knowing that was going to tick people off, including Ernie.

I am not going with the majority and say all man poor Eddie. Eddie is still paid this year and next. Eddie still had 2 all stars on the team. He pretty much threw them under the bus the other game when he was saying he was lacking talent and his two All Stars were pretty much not All Stars without Gilbert.

So for all of the people thinking Eddie got the shaft, I will have to beg to differ. He had his chance to right the ship, but he chose not too.......

Lastly, all these folks coming to Eddie's defense were the same one's calling for Eddie to play the younger players more. You were not going to see the younger players if Eddie was still here as coach, plain and simple. That played a part in his firing too......

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 24, 2008 7:19 PM

Very good post GM.......

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 24, 2008 7:21 PM

Nobody can use the excuse that this team was decimated by injuries and that's why they lost because they had 2 all stars on the team and they lost to teams this season that were in the lottery last season and/or with new coaches/systems.

Somebody's head needed to roll after that NY Knicks loss, who not only were in the lottery last season, but also had a new coach, and just traded away 2 of their starters and were depleted.

That was a no excuse must win, and the entire team from players to coaches couldn't make it happen, especially MeShawn Jamison.


"As long as we continue to work hard and continue to believe that we can turn things around, it makes my job easy," said Jamison, the Wizards' captain. "When guys stop playing hard and giving their all is when it becomes difficult for me, but this is a learning curve."

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 7:22 PM

Mr. Grunfeld:

Please, please, please consider signing John Stockton has head coach. And Karl Malone has his assistant...

Pay any cost, and promise them a championship roster of players, and a chance at a championship as coaches of the Washington Wizards...

Posted by: -CMAC- | November 24, 2008 7:22 PM

Hey, Eddie's a great guy, a bona fide D.C. basketball hero. But when he's smiling after the 10th loss in 11 games, saying "at least we're not developing losing habits ... we're still playing hard," I say,
"get a grip. Time to move on."

The Knicks game was a total disaster. How could we lose to that time?

I agree that we should tighten the rotation, play the guys who are producing in practice, let the young guys sit and learn.

Not that they can keep McGee and Young on the bench. They ought to be contributing even more.

But you can't just let a team shoot open shots. You have to challenge every shot. I'll be curious to see how the new team of coaches pushes the players on the defensive end.

That's where it's got to happen.

Posted by: zinger1 | November 24, 2008 7:30 PM

Here's an interesting tidbit from Mike Lee today. It goes to show that EJ lost control and Gilby, who undermined him, and should have been reprimanded:


Washington, D.C.: What single -decision- (not injury or something outside of the team's control) do you think Eddie wishes he had back today?

Michael Lee: He probably wishes that he had started Gilbert Arenas against Charlotte in that game in April 2007. He probably wishes that he had fined the guy $50,000 for being late and moved on.
As for a basketball decision, Eddie wishes he had chosen a different lineup in the fourth quarter against Milwaukee earlier this season. If the Wizards win that game, the entire tone of the season is different. They definitely have at least two or more wins because they'd have the confidence that they can finish games. Right now, these guys go into the fourth quarter expecting to blow it.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 7:30 PM

No Eddie Jordan was not the culprit by himself and Ernie Grunfeld should be held accountable too. This team has been deficient for a while and Ernie has stuck pretty much with the status quo for the roster. He's drafted a couple of gems but several busts which suggests not enough research was done.

For the next coach, I sure hope the team doesn't go through the retreads of losers that seem to be on coaching carousel. I vote that the team contact Big John Thompson and ask him what it would take for him to coach this team. I know he wants a significant level of control and decision making--He's a wise man. I believe the team needs a couple of new players, some real talent in the front court and another serious point guard. Some risks need to be taken. Last, I wish Abe Pollin would sell the team.

Posted by: zbopjazz | November 24, 2008 7:30 PM

It was time for EJ to go. Sure he had players on IR. So do other teams.however they do not use it as an excuse. the players continue to play hard including defense.There is no reason that the Wiz should not be playing defense except poor coaching.You do not need GA on the active roster in order to have a notable defense.Defense is based on coaching philospy coaches ability to teach,and player comittment to excute what he has been taught.IT is the responsibility of the coach to ensure that the players excute. It is obvious that EJ either had a poor defensively scheme or he lacked the coaching ability to enforce it with his players.Let's face it, injuries are not the sole reason for the WIZ poor performances.EJ. good luck but your time should have ended much sooner.

Posted by: joyron52 | November 24, 2008 7:32 PM

Don't forget, it was EJ who said during training camp last season that they weren't practicing offense, only defense, because they had this potent offense down pat.

Unfortunately, they couldn't hit the side of a barn early last season either and lost 5 in a row.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 7:33 PM

These players let their coach down. All the fans know who is really responsible for 1-10 record, and it's not Eddie Jordan. Mr. Jordan will soon be coaching somewhere else and successful, while the Wiz will be stuck in the bottom tier of the NBA. Best wishes to Coach Jordan. Players need to play.

Posted by: bfjam | November 24, 2008 7:39 PM

Who remembers the Ball Coach, Jack Pardee, and Norv? Why should EJ expect a pass?

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 7:53 PM

Wes had a pretty bad record too

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 7:55 PM

Jeez, half the guys on the board praising EJ must never watch the games -- EJ was hooooooooorible at calling games. He played limited-ability 6'7" guys at center for YEARS and now Wilbon talks about how smart and gifted a coach he was. Puh-leeze, that's not true: the truth is he had three extremely gifted offensive players who won games for him, and now that he's down to two players his coaching ability was exposed.

Posted by: dpclark | November 24, 2008 7:55 PM

Bernard King for coach

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 7:57 PM

How about Jeff Ruland - he did a great job at Iona!

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 7:59 PM

EJ busted his gut for this franchise for the past six years, then he's given this mess of a roster, and this is how he's treated? After 11 games?

He's not even given the chance to get Arenas and Haywood back to see how he'd do?

Take away the top big man (yeah, yeah, I know it's Haywood but who else do they have) and top scorer. Then have both of your starting guards play abysmally.

What coach in the NBA today could get wins out of that situation?

Yeah, I know it's a business. He won't be hurting financially. And someone will give him another chance.

And yes, he was too hard-headed with the younger players and some of his subbing. He's a good coach; not a great one.

But try attracting a quality individual to come and be treated like this.

Good luck.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 24, 2008 8:00 PM

Maybe EJ should buy a NASCAR team

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 8:00 PM

...treated like WHAT? Dude makes millions of dollars and gets a huge buyout of uncertain princely sum. He can retire without ever lifting a finger again. All because his team, actually...UNDERACHIEVED these last few years. Our teams could have been really good, and instead under EJ were merely good. Remember the successive Cleveland losses in the playoffs? Shouldn't have happened.

Posted by: dpclark | November 24, 2008 8:05 PM

All because his team, actually...UNDERACHIEVED these last few years.

Sorry, EJ got about as much out of this roster as just about anyone outside of the elite coaches.

They have had no inside game during his entire run here. None.

Yes, he wasn't perfect. Yes, he got outcoached in some games. And yes, he stuck with his veterans way too long. He's clearly got a hostility towards younger players.

But I just do not see all of this talent that apparently others do.

As I said, I'm not crying for EJ. He'll be fine.

But if you don't think other coaches won't think twice - three times - about coming here after this, you're kidding.

Money talks, to be sure; but sometimes in a close call people pick professionalism over the last buck.


Posted by: SteveMG | November 24, 2008 8:15 PM

It had to be done.
The Princeton O & the Wizzies D just never worked.
I'm sure EJ saw it coming.
EJ seemed to have the players with him. At least they looked him in the eye when they came to the bench. That's more than I can say when Doug Collins was here. If ET can win 4 out of 10 til GA gets back he will be considered a success.

Posted by: VBFan | November 24, 2008 8:17 PM

Way to represent on ESPN Ivan!

Posted by: BC1963 | November 24, 2008 8:30 PM

After the ridiculous deal they gave Gil (with three knee surgeries and not having played in practically two years), and then injuries, and their inability to sign any new talent (and therefore having to rely on a bunch of rookies) they have the audacity to blame Eddie Jordan?

Abe has been a losing coach for four or more decades. He's once again working his "magic" and the pixie dust blows up in his face.

Posted by: Independent11 | November 24, 2008 8:40 PM

Meant to say "owner" with regards to Abe. :)

Posted by: Independent11 | November 24, 2008 8:40 PM

Russ Grimm is stuck with the Cardinals...maybe he wants to come home

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 8:41 PM

When I heard the news of EJ's departure, the first thing that came to mind was Agent Zero! What was his reaction?

Anyway, its never a good thing when a good coach gets fired like this. EJ did not build this roster, nor paid anyone on the roster so its seems to me that Ol' Abe should have looked at his GM for brown nosin' him into signing the ZERO. That could have been money to keep RMJ, get a decent point because thats all you really needed. A decent point guard to run the coach's plays, dish out some assists and a few buckets. You have scorers so no need for ZERO. Did we not make it without him? Yes. Can we be better with him? Yes, HEALTHY! Look at Steve Blake out in Portland. Running the point. All you need is a decent point guard and we went overboard for ZERO and he has not played a game. It's his fault he did not heal and they still paid the man!

EJ did the best he could with what he had. The season was not lost but I understand something had to be done. Andray Blatche! Potential, yes. But he is not getting it. Would it help if EJ played him every night? Who knows but show me something when you do get in the game every night.
EJ was the best thing the Wizards had as a coach, not talking about the Bullets, but the Wizards! I do pray that whoever ends up as the coach next season rents his home instead of buying or leasing. As long as Ernie G and Zero are in town.

Good luck Coach Jordan and know that you did the best with what you had at that crucial time. Jamison, Butler, Dixon, Daniels, Haywood, and Etan will defintely miss you.

God Bless you!

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | November 24, 2008 8:42 PM

I heard Manute Bol and George Muresan can be claimed off of waivers until 11:59pm

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 8:44 PM

After the ridiculous deal they gave Gil (with three knee surgeries and not having played in practically two years), and then injuries, and their inability to sign any new talent (and therefore having to rely on a bunch of rookies) they have the audacity to blame Eddie Jordan?

That about summarizes it for me.

Sure, we can point a finger at Jordan. But not after going through a longer list of people and decisions to point at.

IOW, folks here are focusing their ire at the wrong spot.

Not that their ire is necessarily wrong; but just misdirected.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 24, 2008 8:44 PM

Move the franchise to Salisbury...pretty sure they could fill the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center every night

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 8:49 PM

unless the Gulls are at home

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 8:50 PM

I would like to apply to be coach. Where do I send my application?


Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 8:52 PM

MJ -

Forget being coach...I want to buy the team.


Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 8:54 PM

I have been saying from the beginning of the season that EJ would be fired sooner rather than later.
Let me make a more specific prediction. EJ is fired in no later than ten more Wizard games.
I know, I'm jumping out there, but if EG doesn't get rid of the weight on his back, he might have to go with him.
I saw the game, forget about trades, and who starts or not, when you constantly do the same stuff over and over again, but expect a different result, you know what they call that: Insanity, like in crazy.
And folks, the only one responsible for this crazines, is certainly not the players, it is not EG, it is clearly EJ.
Bringing it hard. LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 18, 2008 10:28 PM

It is totally fair that Eddie was fired.
When I was on my way to work this morning, and heard the news on 980 I could not wait to get home to get to the Blog.

Then I see the number of Blogs, Wow, didn't know this Blog could get so popular.

Then I voted Yes that the firing was fair and the results came back overwhelming that it was not.

I guess all you folks that did not think Eddie needed to fired are just dreamers.

Those of us who new he should be fired can read the tea leaves and we might just know a thing or two about NBA BBall.

Get ready you non-believers, because it will become evident real quick why Eddie deserved to be fired.

Put your seatbelts on folks, 'cause we gonna be Runnin and Gunnin and Winnin!!!


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2008 9:02 PM

"When I heard the news of EJ's departure, the first thing that came to mind was Agent Zero! What was his reaction?

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | November 24, 2008 8:42 PM "

Why would Gilby care?

If anything, he might feel a little bit guilty because he undermined the coach so many times.

Gilby will still get paid, and most importantly, he's pulling for Les BouleS to be in the lottery anyway so they can draft the next Tim Duncan.

I guess he forgot that being in the lottery means the team is not doing well which usually means the coach is about to get booted, which happened.

You pay max money to Gilby, and he's hoping the team will draft a franchise player in the next Tim Duncan, while conveniently forgetting that Les BouleS are paying HIM to be the franchise player.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 9:05 PM

If we're "pitch'in and catch'in" it's gonna be a long season

Posted by: kensoliday | November 24, 2008 9:05 PM

The next question is when Gary Williams is going to get fired or retire?

He's been at UMCP very long, and has had success.

That was a long time ago.

Now, he can't even get any decent recruits, and GU has somebody by the name of Greg Monroe.


Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 9:14 PM

EG is covering his own backside. Two of the 5 starting positions on this team are not NBA caliber (PG and C), although McGee is coming along nicely, and you fire the coach. I can see if the man had some great talent and it wasn't working, but damn EG. EG and Abe decided to pay AJ and an injured Gil all that money, not Eddie Jordan. Then when AJ couldn't guard a pole and Gil starts talking about sitting out the whole season, you fire the coach, makes no sense. Very interesting that your highest paid marquee player "was nowhere to be found". I'm seeing fingerprints all over this.

Posted by: dscottp169 | November 24, 2008 9:30 PM

They sold their future when they offered Arenas a $111 million contract for 6 years. 3 knee operations in 17 months should result in a one year contract at most.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | November 24, 2008 9:34 PM

And one more thing, Eddie Jordan would not know a NBA center if the center kept fighting with a no account power forward because the real NBA center knew that the no account PF was the coaches pet and the coaches pet did not deserve to be taking PT away from him. And what happens, unfortunately, the coaches pet has a unexpected medical condition, is out for the season, and Voila, the real NBA center has to play and it becomes evident to everyone including EJ that we have a more than adequate NBA center in our mist. And some of you keep saying, it took the real NBA center 4-yrs to achieve what he did. Wrong assesment, the absence of the coaches pet allowed the real NBA center to get the PLAYING TIME he needed and deserved, in order show that HE REALLY COULD PLAY. If the coaches pet had not went out, the real NBA center would not have gotten the chance to prove that HE REALLY COULD PLAY ALL ALONG.

I said it before, EG knew this and he was not going to allow this to happen to another real NBA center by the name of JaVale McGee. Those of you that really have been watching, you know that EJ was using the same pattern with JM that he used with BH for that no account PF.

As mentioned in an earlier Blog by me, Ernie Grunfield was not going to let that movie rerun again and thats why he had to be fired.

For all you Bloggers that keep saying Eddie had nothing to work with, I don't know what yawl' been lookin at for the last four years up til' now.

Go Wizards!!! LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2008 9:38 PM

I liked Coach Jordan. I think that if OK City has any smarts, they'll grab him while they can.

But I think back to the last game. Caron Butler wasn't playing very well, and got benched for the 2nd quarter. He actually didn't seem all that bothered by it. But I can just imagine what Grunfeld was thinking: the coach just benched an All-Star on a 1-9 team. I bet Coach Jordan would like to take that back.

Posted by: satchmore | November 24, 2008 10:04 PM

"They sold their future when they offered Arenas a $111 million contract for 6 years. 3 knee operations in 17 months should result in a one year contract at most.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | November 24, 2008 9:34 PM "

And, the funny/sad thing is that there's a rumor that Gilby might just sit out this year since there's no sense for him to play b/c this team doesn't look like it's going to make the playoffs.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 10:06 PM

The question now for coaching candidates is "which job is more desirable....DC or OK?"

OK's probably got the bigger upside with regard to talent on the team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 24, 2008 10:07 PM

I do hope that they make a serious play for Tom Thibodeau. Could be hard to get him to leave a contender, though.

Posted by: satchmore | November 24, 2008 10:19 PM

Even when they made the playoffs they sucked.
We all knew that LaBron would eat them alive.
Goes to prove in the NBA you don't have to be the cream to rise to the playoffs.

Posted by: keithlb28 | November 24, 2008 10:20 PM

I think this is a terrible decision.

How many Gar Heards and Leonard Hamiltons did we go through before we found Eddie? One of the best young coaches in the league who has taken us to the playoffs the past 4 straight years healthy or not and we sent him packing after 10 games.

That's character and commitment for ya.

What was Eddie supposed to accomplish with this roster?? Our franchise player and pg is out. Our backup pg is out. We are starting Dee Brown.

Grunfeld failed to keep Larry Hughes, opting instead to use our salary space on Antonio Daniels, Darius Songaila and DeShawn Stevenson.

We have some talented young players in Young, McGee and Blatche. All of who show flashes followed by being out of position or passing to the other team.

We can't rebound. Our Power Forward is Antawn Jamison, who despite his numbers is far from being a force on the boards or in the paint. He is a finesse player. We could survive that with Haywood in the middle, but not with our current cast.
Haywood is out. Etan is coming off an entire missed season. Blatche plays like a small forward, and not a very good one. Grunfeld drafted Pecherov in the 1st round. Songaila has gotten slow and lost all ability to jump. McGee is too young, skinny, and out of position too often, or pushed out of the post do control the boards despite his hops and length.

Where are the rebounds supposed to come from?? We no longer have Ruffin or Jeffries. We really have no pure rebounder off the bench. Etan is the closest we got. Maybe McGuire.

Without Gil the Wizards have no dominant scorer. Jamison and Butler are good complimentary scorers. But our offense is stagnant and predictable with those two leading the way. And who else is there to chime in? Nick Young has been good, but that's it... DeShawn has been terrible. McGuire still can't shoot. Songaila? Etan?? Pecherov? Dee Brown??

Arenas is our leader offensively. Haywood is our leader defensively. You can get by with one or the other, but neither we got no chance. We are struggling on offense, we can't rebound, and we can't stop anybody.

Firing Eddie was unwarranted and unfair. I think it's a mistake. And I think it sends a signal to the players and the fans that this season is over. The white flag just went up. Throw in the towel. Play for the future. Rebuild. Go in another direction. This ship has sailed.

Let's replace him with a guy who last coached at AU in the 80's. No offense, I really like Tapscott from his days doing the Wizards post game show on Comcast. But no way this makes sense as far as us trying to make something out of this season.

And who are we going to bring in that's going to be better??

Van Gundy? We won't pay enough, as usual. Flip Saunders? Whoopie!! How about some unproven assistant or college coach? Maybe Wes Unseld or Doug Collins?? Bernie Bickerstaff?

Posted by: Darnell1 | November 24, 2008 10:27 PM

Sally Jenkins had an excellent column today on Jordan and his inability to get this team/franchise to play defense over his tenure as head coach.

Of all of the criticisms of him, this one is pretty much irrefutable.

More than pretty much.

Posted by: SteveMG | November 24, 2008 10:40 PM

Mostly absurd comments in here. Just absurd!

EG has a track record. He was GM with the Knicks that went to the FINALS TWICE. He made Milwaukee relevant for the few years he was there. EJ just does not deserve any benefit of the doubt. Great, he took a team with 3 all-stars to the playoffs! Who obtained those players? Who?

EJ just did not get any defensive effort out of this team. They lack discipline and hustle. The substitution pattern is a mess. And, instead of getting guys like Blatche on board, he has lost him. Who knows if he is savable, but EJ was not getting through. That's for sure.

Plus, I love using injuries as an excuse for EJ, but not EG. I don't care if they lose most of the time with their injuries, but it's how they lose. No hustle, no basketball IQ. Can't even get CB and AJ shots in the clutch. Random mostly unexplainable substitutions. Losing to the Knicks with 7 players etc etc. These things were happening when we were healthy and a pretty talented team.

I like this roster:

PG GA - talented if overpaid
SG DS - playing his normal spot up role
PF AJ - when he is giving some effort on D
C BH - solid NBA center if not spectacular
SF CB - solid all-around guy, but D is lacking

PG AD - solid NBA veteran backup
SG NY - very talented scorer and improving game
C JM - might be steal of draft

PF DS - spot duty and nice banger with shot
C ET - spot duty veteran banger
PF AB - all the skill need to get more out of him if possible. EJ wasn't.

Yeah, so go ahead and fire EG too and that would be the end of us being relevant in the years ahead!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 24, 2008 10:42 PM

Not acceptable? Deshawn Stevenson, Andray Blatche, Darius Songalia, Antonio Daniels, Gilbert Arenas, Dee Brown, Juan Dixon, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas. No power forward or pure point guard, that's unacceptable.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 24, 2008 10:44 PM


Your naming backups and what should be bottom of the roster guys mostly. Name the 3rd point guard of any other team (Sure D Brown sucks!). Name another player drafted after Blatche that is even still in the league now. Daniels is hurt. Did he not play well last year? DS is solid. Did he not play wee last year as well? . What, you want 4/5 all-stars? Give me a break!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 24, 2008 10:54 PM

Please, all your EJ lovers, stop crying and moaning, stop talking about, we can't rebound, we can't shoot, we can't defend, we can't do this, we can't do that, it ain't Eddie's fault, just stop it, stop it, stop it.

In the next ten games you Eddie loyalists and non believers will see what kind of NBA team the Wizards really are.

And I gaurantee, they won't look nothing like what you guys think they are.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2008 11:02 PM

prob a stretch but how about Bill Laimbeer. I would love to see Bill and Rick Mahorn. It would bring some toughness this team needs

Posted by: wizravterp | November 24, 2008 11:03 PM

so now we finally get to see the young bloods play...and all the head games from the coaching staff will end. Expect CB and AJ will play about 30 min per game. We wont see much more of ET, DSong, AD, DSteve or Juan. As you look at the contracts, this is the year we need to know if Pech and DMac can play, if NY can start to limit his mistakes and learn to take over a game, if AB given consistent minutes and one consistent position can focus and mature, heck even see if DeeBrown has got enough to truly be a back up change of pace PG. This is the only way EG can determine if he has to blow the team up this summer and start over. I actually think ET is a very choice to do just that for this team...yes it will be a long season, but it will be entertaining and while they wont win enough to make the playoffs, they will probably be much better in the near term future.

Posted by: oddjob2 | November 24, 2008 11:11 PM

Jamison is afraid that Tapscott might want him to play defense.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 24, 2008 11:32 PM

Not acceptable? Deshawn Stevenson, Andray Blatche, Darius Songalia, Antonio Daniels, Gilbert Arenas, Dee Brown, Juan Dixon, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas. No power forward or pure point guard, that's unacceptable.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 24, 2008 10:44 PM


Your naming backups and what should be bottom of the roster guys mostly. Name the 3rd point guard of any other team (Sure D Brown sucks!). Name another player drafted after Blatche that is even still in the league now. Daniels is hurt. Did he not play well last year? DS is solid. Did he not play wee last year as well? . What, you want 4/5 all-stars? Give me a break!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 24, 2008 10:54 PM


There are many '3rd' point Gs who would be better than Brown. I like his effort, but he is undersized, has no flow, doesn't dish well and shoots like a girl throwing a snowball. Deshawn? He is a marginal player & sometimes streaky shooter (last year, anyway), undersized and overrated defensively. He disappears, sometimes for entire games, and ill-advisedly taunts all-stars like Lebron and everyone for that matter by regularly waving his hand in front of his face when he has the rare fortune of one of his shots dropping. Name someone drafted after Andray Blatche, how about Ryan Gomes or Jose Calderon for starters. Daniels is hurt because he is old. Good GMs have a young PG in waiting. The rest are marginal, except Gil, who we signed to a long term deal despite his knee problems and eccentricity, which led to him rehabilitating himself and perhaps injuring himself out of the league. Darius? OPech? Thomas? Too slow/skinny/unskilled to play their positions. Of the rest, we have a promising scorer, but poor defender and sometimes unfocused player in Young, a great player in Butler, a great sixth man too weak to start at PF in Jamison, a young, raw and too skinny prospect in McGee, an average center in Haywood and a tough, but unskilled PF/SF tweener in Mcguire. We have no salary room to make any changes, because EG gave ill-advised long-term deals to AB, AJ, AD, ET, GA and DS, no power up front... tall, fast, athletic muscle up front, where games are won. AJ is too shy and undersized, Blatche too skinny and unfit, Mcgee too skinny and raw, Haywood too slow, heavy-kneed and stiff-hipped, Thomas slow, undersized with slow reaction time and no flow, Pech too skinny and lives beyond the three and Songalia, who plays as if he is coming back from an achilles injury. This team is a mess. Yes, we have three all-stars, but none who play a pure position or battle inside. The rest of the roster has no pure prototype position, except Haywood, over-the-hill AD and Dee, were he to play in the D-League.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 24, 2008 11:37 PM

"Plus, I love using injuries as an excuse for EJ, but not EG."

That makes no sense. How do injuries affect what players Grunfeld drafts or sings (or doesn't sign) as FAs? How can injuries be blamed for overpaying Stevenson and letting Mason walk or drafting a useless stiff like Pecherov in the top 20?

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2008 11:51 PM

I wish all you haters would lay off attacking Dee Brown. Okay, so he's not the next Chris Paul, but the guy's busting his ass out there, doing the best that he can do with his marginal talent in a rotten situation. It's not his fault that Gil is still rehabbing and EG saw fit to go with the aging Antonio Davis as his replacement at the point. It's also not his fault that CB's shot isn't falling and Blatche is a lazy mofo who's performing way below his talent level.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | November 25, 2008 12:01 AM


You act as if some of these signings were made in a vacuum. Has everything EG has done turned to gold? NO! Of course not, but we were relevant despite EJ's coaching bc of him. You say there are "many" 3rd point guards who would be better than Brown then name NONE. He sucks, but Abe is not ponying up to upgrade the THIRD string point guard. Come real and cede some points I make. Also, I looked it up and I count 4 guys still in the NBA in Blatche's draft from the 2nd round. Only Ryan Gomes was drafted after Blatche still in the league and he ain't exactly tearing up the NBA. Blatche is by far more talented. Don't know where you came up with Calderon. Not true!

-He got THREE all-stars in Washington.
-Butler for Kwame.
-GA for cheap originally. I was against the resigning from day one. Day one, when most in here were saying Abe better pony up. How much was it EG's decision or Abe's?
-DS was supposed to be a spot banger with a jumper on a playoff caliber team, which he is and played well in that ROLE.
-ET was coming off his best season and Milwaukee wanted him. Hell, EJ thought he was a starting center. Probably his worst contract I concede, but don't cherry pick.


Yeah, you got me. DS's contract is not even in the top 5 problems with this team. Probably not in the top 10. Also, resigning Mason would make us championship caliber? Really? I LOVED Mason when everybody in here called him a scrub. When EJ would not give him any minutes 2 years ago. I was right! But, with the other contracts this summer it wasn't possible. Blame Abe! Hey, check my comments. I hated resigning both GA and AJ for their prices. I agreed with Wilbon that we should have worked with Golden State to possibly get Biedrins and Baron instead. I believe it was Abe decision more than anyone else's.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 25, 2008 12:57 AM

"Yeah, you got me. DS's contract is not even in the top 5 problems with this team. Probably not in the top 10."

Their lack of depth at guard (with Arenas and Daniels out) and their lack of bench scoring are both in the top 5 problems, and both of them could have been solved if they hadn't overpaid for Stevenson, which resulted in them not having the money to keep Mason.

"Also, resigning Mason would make us championship caliber? Really?"

Did I say anything about Mason making the Wizards "championship caliber"? Did I? Really?

Hope you didn't pick up too many splinters, dragging that fat-a$$ straw man into the discussion.

"Hey, check my comments."

Pass. When I'm in the mood for masochistic torture, I'll just shove bamboo needles under my fingernails.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 25, 2008 1:18 AM

Deshawn was 5th in basketball last week with 5.8 apg. He's also really cool. Until someone teaches NY about defense, he will be a liability.

Posted by: prescrunk | November 24, 2008 5:47 PM

He's also really cool?!! You oughtta be banned from this blog for such a dumas comment.


Posted by: original_mark | November 25, 2008 7:00 AM

Tapscott's suggestions about protecting the rim and the style in which he wants to play defense sound good. I'm not drinking the Koolaid yet but those comments alone tell me that he wants to do something that EJ hasn't been able to get the team to do.
Eddie, good guy or not, had to go. No he didnt pay Gil and no he didn't injure BTH but he has 2 current all stars on hs roster. No acceptable excuse for 1-10. None. Period.

The only thing I see wrong so far is DS being named as a starter. Hopefully, Tapscott will be objective and play the best player. If he does that, DS's time as a starter will be short. Too much is made of NY being average on defense. Why is no one talking about DS being POOR on offense? Give me average over poor.

His plan to set a 8 or 9 man rotation is good and way overdue. My only problem with it is not naming both D.Steph and D.Song as permanent bench players.

If we're gonna name a 8 or 9 man rotation, this should be it. (assuming AD gets back)


We could start giving some minutes to both Pech and McGuire and see who earns the 9th man spot. Since we need a backup sf, McGuire has the edge. Nobody else should EVER see the court....even in blowouts.

bench players never to see the light of day - DS, DS, ET

Posted by: original_mark | November 25, 2008 7:11 AM

Posted by: original_mark | November 25, 2008 8:26 AM

I used to be a Knick fan when I lived on New York. They were not shy about starting rookies or giving them significant minutes. They weren't pulled after making a mistake and banished to the end of the bench. These were guys like Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradly, Cazzy Russell among others. They were enventlly keys to two championships. I'm sure that if EJ were coaching them they would be consigned to the bench while they were "developed." BTW wasn't "fast Eddie Eddie Jorden" a starter with the Nets in his rookie year?

Posted by: browneri | November 25, 2008 9:13 AM

Tapscott was hired for a front office position, Director of Player Development was his title. But he traveled with the team and in effect was really an assistant coach.

Tapscott was there to try and figure out the riddle of why Eddie seemed unable or unwilling to work with young talent. Eddie had a lot of strengths, but working with rookies wasn't one of them.

Just about every poster on this site has at one time or another bemoaned Blatche's inability to get consistant play out of his Allstar potential talent, Young's inmaturity,McGuire's lack of offense, and Pecherov's looking like a bust.

Grunfeld drafted all of these guys, so in his mind he saw roles they could fill and NBA level talent. All Eddie seemed to see was warts. Tapscott's job hasn't changed much, in the next six months he needs to figure out which of these young guys are ready.

Along with that he's got to nurture McGee along and keep his confidence from getting crushed on nights that he gets schooled. And along the way he's got to keep Jamison and Butler's attention during a lost season. And then weave Gil back into the playing rotation while seeing that the young guys still get the ball enough to develop.

When Haywood went down this was a team destined to play lottery ball at least til Gil is 100%. Following the progress of recent Microfracture surgery guys that will probably be next Sept, not this season. The chances of Gil coming back and playing Allstar caliber ball this year are really low. Once healthy enough to play, it'll be up to six months before he really gets his game back.

With out Haywood, and with Daniels hobbled, playing in the deliberate style that worked last year was sucide. The youngsters on the roster can't play mistake free basketball and grind out games. Grinding it out in a half court set allows teams to focus on the two scorers Eddie had left. So it was doomed to fail.

Watching 40 years of NBA basketball prepared me for the fact that this was a lottery year once Haywood and Daniels went down. The goal this year has changed, Eddie was the guy to get this team to the playoffs the last 4 years. Now it's up to the old college guy Tapscott to try and nurture this group of kids while Grunfeld scouts for a Lottery ready player to build around.

Posted by: flohrtv | November 25, 2008 9:36 AM

"People act like Ayers is some kind of coaching genius."

Well, I don't know if Ayers is a (defensive) coaching genius. But at least he is not a defensive coaching retard (you know who I meant)!

BTW, those who argue this is a 1-10 team, while don't know to see coaching change are just self-serving. They do not want to see whether or not a different coach may be able to revive this team! No coaching change, they can continue crying that it all because of the bad roster!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 25, 2008 4:53 PM

Absoultely wrong and totally backwards.

Those who think this is a 1-10 team and don't want a coaching change (A) get no personal benefit out of Jordan staying (as opposed to the apparent orgiastic glee inspired among the Jordan haters by his firing) and (B) simply understand that if the roster is the problem, then changing coaches won't make a difference.

If the car is out of gas with a broken axle and no brakes, changing drivers won't do you any good.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 25, 2008 5:02 PM


No offense, we just disagree.

Sure, Jordan and EG helped make us 'relevant'. As a long-suffering 30-year Wiz fan, I respect that. But relevancy is a pretty low bar. The goal is to win a championship. You mention that the Wiz have three all-stars, but it doesn't matter how many they have if they have no one up front. Golden State had RUN TMC some years ago, and never got anywhere in the playoffs. The frontcourt is the gateway through which all possibility enters. Period. No team has won a championship in 30 years with at least one superior frontcourt player. We have none, and so much tied up on jump shooters, that we will not for years unless unless Mcgee develops.

As for better 3rd string point guards Than Dee Brown, how about Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury, Kirk Hinrich/Lindsay Hunter and Jerry Bayless for starters. Most teams do not carry a third, and we wouldn't have to either had EG not taken the risk of relying on long-term deals to a player with three knee surgeries (Arenas) and a nearly 34-year-old journeyman (Daniels).

Calderon was not drafted, but available for the draft when we picked Blatche. We didn't.

Ryan Gomes is averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds in limited minutes. Moreover, he plays D, doesn't turn over the ball like Blatche, is fit, tough and shooting nearly 47%. So..... there.

Posted by: SammyT1 | November 25, 2008 7:07 PM

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