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Eddie Jordan Stays Cool on NBA TV

You probably missed it live if you, like me, watched the Washington Wizards' 27th loss of the season on Wednesday against Toronto. But two nights ago, former Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan was on "Game Time Live" on NBA TV with Ernie Johnson and Eric Snow. Jordan didn't say anything earth-shattering about how his tenure in Washington ended, didn't come out guns-blazing, but he looked to be in pretty good spirits. He sounds like he misses the game, although he probably is relieved that he doesn't have to endure coaching the Wizards this season.

You can click here to watch the opening discussion, where Johnson asked Jordan about why he was fired after starting the year 1-10.

ERNIE JOHNSON: We were all kind of taken aback when you were let go by the Wizards earlier this season. It was a slow start, but again, you look at no Gilbert Arenas, no Brendan Haywood. You're like, with that roster, I don't know where you're going to go. And you had taken the team to the playoffs four straight years. How did you reconcile all of that earlier this season?
EDDIE JORDAN: I thought we played pretty well without Gil the last two years. Our backcourt was solid. Our two all-star forwards were fine. I thought losing Brendan Haywood was really, really big for us, because he had a career year last year. He defended the paint for us and our two guards, Antonio Daniels and DeShawn Stevenson, were really moving the ball and ran the offense for us. Our defense improved, thanks a lot to Randy Ayers. Then this year, we just had so many injuries with Antonio and DeShawn, as you see now, he's missing some time. And losing Brendan ...
JOHNSON: Are you looking forward to talking basketball, do you try to avoid basketball, do you watch basketball every night? What do you do when you're in a situation like this?
JORDAN: I watch games every night. It's exciting. It's fun. You learn a lot. I pull for all the teams to win even though it just can't happen.

Jordan later broke down the Princeton offense. Snow, the former point guard who spent time in Seattle, Philadelphia and Cleveland, sounded like he really admired and respected Jordan. Since Snow has expressed his desire to sit behind the bench, maybe he was angling to join Jordan's next staff, when and wherever that may be.

Snow said the Wizards were always difficult to prepare for on offense because players were always moving. He also talked about the deceptive ways Jordan called plays, either by wiping his head or coughing.

"He's got the best signals," Snow said.

Jordan patted himself and said, "Baseball coach."

Snow said Jordan always tried to confuse him with his play calling and he said he never knew what was coming.

"And, all of sudden, it's a hit and run," Johnson said.

By Michael Lee  |  January 9, 2009; 3:23 PM ET
 
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Comments

Will someone ask EJ why the Wizards never played any defense?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I saw the part where he was breaking down his offense. It ended with me knowing less about it than I did when it began. I tried to relate it to what I've seen on the court the past four years, and I just couldn't...

Posted by: jones-y | January 9, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I would hope (and think) that he does a better job of explaining it to his players, but NBA TV should never ever ever again ask him to do the walkthrough thing again. It was just plain awkward.

Posted by: jones-y | January 9, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Bullets FAN78: Maybe someone should ask you why so many dumb azz questions? Then again maybe you're stuck in a time warp like say 1978, time to put away those penny loafers and turtle necks,get rid of the tweed slacks take down your Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes poster's, ease up on EJ by the time we get back to playoffs you'll be wishing he'd never been fired but then again maybe we can get Dick Motta to come back just for you!

Posted by: dargregmag | January 9, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Wish we had someone with an intricate offensive mind on the bench now.

Posted by: truthaboutit | January 9, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag: I am stuck in a time warp like say 1978, since then this team has never come close to winning a championship! Now I see why CHEAP ABE will not exceed the luxury cap because fans like you are happy to just make the playoffs.

If you believe the team ever played any defense while EJ was the coach I want to know what games were you watching?


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Glad we have someone without mindgames on the bench now.

Posted by: jones-y | January 9, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

jones-y/kal,

I hope that EG has the stones to take a serious run at some big-time FAs.

All of your points about why we didn't land one of those big men are resonable.

(Except for a fe; For instance, I think a guy like Randolph has been on big-time dysfunctional teams/organizations and that has hurt his development; Artest may be a 3 but he can wipe the floor with alot of 4s and 5s in this league; Gasol would have been a fine 2nd fiddle to Gilbert, right?).

But unless you have Tim Duncan, you need to be prepared to get a little "unreasonable" to win a championship in this league. You need to be prepared to eat some luxury tax; you need to have the stones to call up McHale and say "I'll trade you my whole team, except for Gilbert, and all the picks you want"; you need to roll the dice on an uber-talented headcase like 'Sheed; you need to have a little Mark Cuban in you...sure it might blow up in your face! But at least you tried and then you rebuild.

I just don't see the logic in continuing to pay the players you've been watching for the last 4-5 years, when you know deep down that on their best night, they still wouldn't deliver a ring. And by the time JM or AB finally develops, you are showing Jamison the door and have not taken a step forward.

Posted by: p1funk | January 9, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

the answer to your question bulletsfan, is personnel. In case you were wondering. Its no secret.

Posted by: jones-y | January 9, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag: I am stuck in a time warp like say 1978, since then this team has never come close to winning a championship! Now I see why CHEAP ABE will not exceed the luxury cap because fans like you are happy to just make the playoffs.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 9, 2009 5:16 PM

My thoughts exactly.

Posted by: p1funk | January 9, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

jones-y, at the risk of sounding obnoxious, your not understanding of what EJ was breaking down on TV has a lot more to do with your basketball background than it does with the offense not being sound.

To someone who has played, coached, or studied their share of organized basketball, EJ's breakdown -- and Snow's admission of how difficult the offense is the defend -- was extremely impressive.

As Sally Jenkins explained perfectly, Eddie was fired because he failed to instill any kind of defensive culture. But his offense was sound.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 9, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

EJ was good step up from the days of Leonard Hamilton and Gar Heard, but that's not saying much.

Even still, EJ got Les BouleS to the first round of the playoffs for 3 seasons, and seemed to have maxed out his own ability to take the team higher, so that is that.

Given all that, it's hard for EJ not to look cool, relaxed, and in good spirits given the 8 mil payout he's getting.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 9, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"For instance, I think a guy like Randolph has been on big-time dysfunctional teams/organizations and that has hurt his development"

Are you actually saying the Wiz haven't been a dysfunctional organization over the last couple of years. Really? Moreover, the whole "he just needs a change of scenery" strategy has been rather unreliable, at best, in the past. Besides, his development isn't a problem. He's proven to be a 20/10 capable player. It's his attitude and work ethic that are the issues. People tend to carry that with them wherever they go.

"Artest may be a 3 but he can wipe the floor with alot of 4s and 5s in this league"

He can play some 4s and 5s in certain instances. "Wipe the floor with a lot of them"? Not so sure about that. He's also a head case who's always a threat to explode. He's been on relatively good behavior in Houston, but that's in large part because he has a previous relationship with Adelman (having called him his "favorite coach" he's ever played for.) And since the Wiz would have had to trade Jamison (or, more exactly, his expiring contract) to get him (at midseason), the prospect of adding Artest's personality to Arenas' without Jamison as a calming influence could have been a recipe for disaster. Remember, chemistry counts.

"Gasol would have been a fine 2nd fiddle to Gilbert, right"

Gilbert ain't Kobe Bryant.

As I've said before, Jamison's leadership and veteran influence is just as important to this team as his 20 and 10. Would the value added of Gasol's on court production have been so much higher than Jamison's as to offset the loss of what Jamison in other areas. Given that they're both finesse players who don't play defense, I don't think that's a given by any means.

I'm not saying any of those deals would be doomed to fail (well, maybe Randolph) but none of them were so guaranteed to succeed that they came anywhere near can't-miss status. There were many arguments for and against each one.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't see the logic in continuing to pay the players you've been watching for the last 4-5 years, when you know deep down that on their best night, they still wouldn't deliver a ring. And by the time JM or AB finally develops, you are showing Jamison the door and have not taken a step forward."

I agree, and made pretty much the same point, more than once, prior to the end of last season, suggesting the Wiz should give serious consideration to breaking up the big 3 if they lost in the first round again. They didn't do it (obviously) but I can see and understand the reasons why.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 9, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

No I wasn't satisfied with EJ only getting the Wiz one and done in the playoff's but i was smart enough to realize given the previous decade of ineptitude that EJ was doing the best job of coaching with what he had to work with, most NBA observers acknowledged the same fact and he certainly didn't get any help from his GM i always have high expectation's for all DC pro team's(WIZ,SKINS,CAPS,NATS) but it's always tempered with reality and common sense i'm convienced EJ would have gotten the Wiz beyond the first round if he had agressive front office support.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"No I wasn't satisfied with EJ only getting the Wiz one and done in the playoff's but i was smart enough to realize given the previous decade of ineptitude that EJ was doing the best job of coaching with what he had to work with, most NBA observers acknowledged the same fact and he certainly didn't get any help from his GM i always have high expectation's for all DC pro team's(WIZ,SKINS,CAPS,NATS) but it's always tempered with reality and common sense i'm convienced EJ would have gotten the Wiz beyond the first round if he had agressive front office support.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 9, 2009 9:33 PM "

EJ getting the boot should come as no surprise.

If you're not the GM's pick for coach, then you'd better win.

EJ didn't win, cast blame on how the team was built, and was then subsequently booted. Now, EG will bring in HIS coach.

Nothing abnormal there.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 9, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

EJ was the franchise's most effective coach in the last 28 years -- and the personnel wasn't that awesome. Without EJ, Ernie Grunfeld is exposed for the GM he is -- one of the league's worst. Ernie must go. Fire Ernie.

Posted by: SteveC28 | January 9, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

"Will someone ask EJ why the Wizards never played any defense?"

Again, sometimes it's the hand your dealt. You might want to ask EG about why the players he has aquired can't play any defense.

This all rests on EG's shoulders. EJ will be coaching again next year. We'll see if the Wiz are any better with what they have.

Unless they get a coach similar to Larry Brown who takes no BS, this could last for while.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 10, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't agree with the thought that Tapscott isn't playing Mind Games. His coaching of Pesh and McGee has been nothing but mind games. One bad shot and McGee gets pulled for four games???? Pesh is a first round pick that never plays puts up 9 points in four minutes and gets pulled for no reason. It's difficult to watch. I agree we don't have enough talent to win a title, but why not let the young guys play through mistakes without micro-managing them. It's really hard to watch.

Posted by: dyoung1 | January 10, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

jones-y, at the risk of sounding obnoxious, your not understanding of what EJ was breaking down on TV has a lot more to do with your basketball background than it does with the offense not being sound.

To someone who has played, coached, or studied their share of organized basketball, EJ's breakdown -- and Snow's admission of how difficult the offense is the defend -- was extremely impressive.

As Sally Jenkins explained perfectly, Eddie was fired because he failed to instill any kind of defensive culture. But his offense was sound.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 9, 2009 6:53 PM

No offense at all funbunch. In fact you made my point for me. And that point was that to the uninitiated (which I would guess is the overwhelming majority of NBAtv viewer base, including me) everything EJ said and demonstrated went right over the top of our heads.

I'm sure as a student of the game, you could definitely appreciate his breakdown, but I consider myself a pretty average fan of the sport, and EJ is obviously not equipped to direct his discourse at me. And there's nothing wrong with that, until you take into account that there are a whole lot more people like me watching NBAtv than there are people like you.

Posted by: jones-y | January 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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