Eddie Jordan, Sactown Bound?

The Sacramento Kings announced on their Web site late Friday night that they plan on interviewing former Washington Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan sometime this week. Jordan has long been rumored to return to Sacramento, where he started his head coaching career late in the 1996-97 season. Sam Amick, Kings beat writer for the Sacramento Bee, wrote an analysis yesterday that made his hiring sound like a mere formality:

The dust will soon settle on the latest Kings coaching search. And when it does, the consensus among many inside the Kings organization and others close to the situation is this: Eddie Jordan will stand alone.

Jordan has a history with Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie, who reportedly didn't want to fire Jordan after the 1997-98 season. Former Kings owner Jim Thomas made the decision to dismiss Jordan after the team went 27-55.


Oh, if I ever had a healthy team... (UPI Photo/Alexis C. Glenn)

But Petrie and Jordan are both a firm supporters of the motion, passing and back-door cuts of the Princeton offense. Petrie played at Princeton for Hall of Fame Coach Pete Carril, who taught the offense to Jordan when both were assistants in Sacramento.

A Jordan reunion could help him finish a job he never got the chance to complete. Jordan was fired in August 1998, before the lockout shortened season, just as Thomas and Petrie began reshaping the roster around Chris Webber (acquired from Washington in the Mitch Richmond deal), Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic and Jason Williams. Rick Adelman came in and guided Sacramento to one its best runs in franchise history, highlighted by a Western Conference finals appearance against the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in 2002.

No doubt he has wondered what could have been had he been given the opportunity to coach that squad. He told the Sacramento Bee back in 1999, "Maybe I'd be bitter if I was still out there and hadn't been able to stay in the league."

No matter where Jordan winds up, he might start getting nervous if he finds himself in a situation where his all-star guard suffers a knee injury and a more accomplished, out-of-work coach happens to visit his team during training camp. The similarities between Jordan's firing in Sacramento and Washington are quite eerie.

In his only full season with the Kings, Jordan implemented the Princeton offense and had the Kings in the playoff hunt through the first 53 games, but Richmond suffered a right knee injury and the Kings lost 26 of their final 29 games. Jordan once told me, "He was an all-star we couldn't afford to lose. We had a bad second half of the season and that pretty much spelled my doom."

During the training camp before that season, Adelman, a former roommate of Petrie, attended as a "consultant." Less than a year later, Adelman replaced him.

Fast forward to his last season in Washington, when Gilbert Arenas needed a third surgery on his left knee in September and the Wizards lost 10 of their 11 games. During training camp, Jordan invited Flip Saunders to sit through meetings and practices and run defensive drills. Four months later, Saunders replaced him.

By Michael Lee |  May 11, 2009; 9:25 AM ET
Previous: Postseason Rocked By Another Big Injury | Next: Roundtable: What Do the Wizards Do If They Pick 1st?

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i'm happy for him. thats a dead-end gig though

Posted by: prescrunk | May 11, 2009 9:38 AM

I hope Eddie gets that job. And I hope everytime he plays us he smashes our heads in just to shove to our maniacal organization! I can't stand what they did to him. I wish Eddie J. the best. I loved having him as coach for outr team...especially him being a DC native and his mom living right across the street from the courts I grew up playing on. =[

Posted by: cbmuzik | May 11, 2009 10:15 AM

EJ goes to sac-town and i guarantee they get Blake griffin and EJ will be laughin is head off.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | May 11, 2009 10:17 AM

What's so dead-end about it, the Maloofs are strong owners and the fan support in Sacramento is phenomenal.

Posted by: twigmuffin | May 11, 2009 10:21 AM


i am glad eddie is getting another shot, but

i am also glad the wizards are starting over

with a new coach and possibly a new offense...

can someone tell me the last time a team won a championship with the princeton offense?

i rest my case your honor!

Posted by: docdwb | May 11, 2009 10:35 AM

Will everyone please stop talking about Eddie Jordan as if he was the second coming of Red Auerbach!! He is a GOOD (not great or very good, just GOOD)coach when all of his players are healthy and playing well. But in all the years he was here, he never got them to play defense or stop doing all the stupid little things that cost them games and prevented them from winning enough games to get home-court advantage in the playoffs. I wish Eddie well in Sacramento, but I'm happy Flip is our coach.

Posted by: paulstutz14 | May 11, 2009 10:37 AM

I hope SAC likes small-ball. The minutes for their bigs will be halved.

Posted by: closg | May 11, 2009 10:41 AM

Well, When it was Shaq, Kobe, and Phil Jackson that Sacramento bowed out to in 7 games. I can't see the point about the offensive system being terribly flawed.

I beleive that Jason Kidd and the Nets took the Princeton all the way to the finals only to loose to the same crew. This league isn't so much about offensive system as it is about having the players. The Kings draw Griffin, Eddie will be a be "coach of the year" in a few years.

Eddie does need to bring in a staff that can help develop young talent. That didn't seem to be one of his strengths while here. So he needs to be smart enough to surround himself with guys that will help him improve in that area.

And he also ought to just leave his doghouse in Washington when he travels West. It's probably got Haywood's name over the door anyway...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 11, 2009 10:49 AM

Oh, And Petrie shouldn't let Ruffin within a 1000 miles of the Kings' camp. Pay some Turkish team to sign him.

If Jordan manages to pick him up he's sure to be in the lineup while a star rookie would sit...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 11, 2009 10:54 AM

EJ is a wonderful coach, and a virtuous man. Frankly, I still don't compehend why the Wizards fired him. Sacramento has promise. They have a young, talented frontline, and an elite young shooting guard. They also might have Blake Griffin next season.

Posted by: Dellis2 | May 11, 2009 10:56 AM

"Will everyone please stop talking about Eddie Jordan as if he was the second coming of Red Auerbach!!"

And who, exactly, has been talking about him that way?

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 11:09 AM

I hope Eddie has learned his lessons well, this time around. Looks like based on what Mike says above he did not learn from his demise in Sacramento and the same thing happened here.

Injury can hasten your departure, if you depend on a short rotation, playing rotations that make no since, and not developing your whole team so that it is more able to carry the load, when injury or loss of playing time takes your rotation away.

You see it is one thing to build a successful game plan and have that plans failure be directly contributal to your own decision making.

1) Playing Etan over Brendan.
2) Playing players out of position to a fault.
3) Expecting players to learn the game from the bench.
4) Benching players for perceived mistakes.
5) Switching your winning Offensive phylosophy to Defense first, a mistake for this Team.
Excertera, Excertera, Excertera.

And this might seem petty, but it really isn't. The unraveling of Eddie's success here started the same year he made Allstar coach based on his Teams Offensive prowess.

The 2nd half he decided to switch to a Defensive Mantra and things snowballed from there.

I have said this before; decisions that we make determine our fate. That second half of the season when Eddie went away from his winning Offensive Philosophy for the sake of Defense, made game decisions based on defense, made personnel decisions based on defense, specifically putting Gilbert in a bad situation by not starting him and come cold off the bench and getting his knee rolled up on were all fated decisions.

I know all that might not seem fair to Eddie, but they were his decisions.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 11, 2009 11:10 AM

What's so dead-end about it, the Maloofs are strong owners and the fan support in Sacramento is phenomenal.
Posted by: twigmuffin | May 11, 2009 10:21 AM

who do they have besides kevin martin?

Posted by: prescrunk | May 11, 2009 11:20 AM

I don't know how much of a transition it would be for the Kings, because they're already playing a Princeton-style scheme. Pete Carril is on staff, and Shareef Rahim, who played it some earlier.

Looking at the roster, it does seem they've got some of the pieces. I think it was Kalorama who described Kevin Martin as Nick Young, but at least that's some semblance of scoring potential. Beno Udrih is the point guard, and he's a pass-first type with a good 3 point eye, if i remember correctly. Spencer Hawes may look like a big stiff on the court but the number's say he's a little better. The coming star is probably Jason Thompson, with Donte Greene a possibility at a forward spot.

Overall I'd say it's a less talented lineup than the Wiz. Just IMO.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 11, 2009 11:21 AM

The Clips, IMO, are more talented than the Wiz. They've got Baron Davis at PG, young Eric Gordon at SG, Steve Novak and his ridiculous 3 point skills, and Ricky Davis, if you can consider that an asset. Up front there's Camby and Chris Kaman, PF Zach Randolph, and SF Al Thornton. That's a lot of offense for one team.

Of course, it depends on whether they can mesh their respective character disorders, but still, it's a lot of talent.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 11, 2009 11:28 AM

One question, if EJ is hired, do Wiz still need to pay his salary next season (I believe he still has one yr left)?

Posted by: sagaliba | May 11, 2009 11:47 AM

Sacramento has some talent, but they're years away from being any good. The good news for their next coach is that Kings management/ownership probably understands that better than the Wiz bosses do. My guess is that when they do get good, most of the players on the roster now won't be around anymore.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 11:55 AM

Hey LarryInClintonMD
your quote was
"specifically putting Gilbert in a bad situation by not starting him and come cold off the bench and getting his knee rolled up on were all fated decisions."

----------------
You are half right here. First
Gilbert put himself in that position because he broke a TEAM rule. Eddy shouldn't have played him at all that night.

But you are in love with Gil so you probably dont see it that way. Gilbert is the reason Gilbert got injured and took 3 years to hopefully recover. Yeah our Lebron, Kobe, D-Wade LOL

Posted by: kevenjones | May 11, 2009 12:00 PM

In response to:
Will everyone please stop talking about Eddie Jordan as if he was the second coming of Red Auerbach!!"

And who, exactly, has been talking about him that way?

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 11:09 AM

Are you joking kalo_rama? Have you ever read a post on this site?? 90% of the people write as if he's Jesus Christ. The man got more credit for a fairly average performance than anyone alive. Seriously, he's a DC native, great. But he was a pretty bad coach. And why do people always say what a great person he is, we don't know. Seriously, that's the silliest post I've ever read-- the answer is that almost everyone is talking about him like he's Auerbach/Phil Jackson/John Wooten all wrapped into one. That guy got more mileage out of not being that good than anyone since Ringo Starr.

Posted by: Urnesto | May 11, 2009 12:06 PM

"Have you ever read a post on this site?? 90% of the people write as if he's Jesus Christ. "

Names and examples, please (with links, if you don't mind).

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 12:07 PM

"specifically putting Gilbert in a bad situation by not starting him and come cold off the bench and getting his knee rolled up on were all fated decisions."

Utter nonsense and hogwash. Coming off the bench had nothing to do with Arenas' injury. He got hurt because a 230 lb man went barreling into his knee at full force. The temperature of his knee is the height of insignificant irrelevancy.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 12:10 PM

I hope EJ makes it - not because he's an exceptional coach - because he's a decent person. Most of these so-called "genius" head coaches would not be considered great without a better than average roster, and at least one over achieving superstar but preferable two or three.

Like anyone else, you live and learn. Maybe he's actually learned from his experiences in Washington and can apply what he's learned.

For now, I'm supporting Flip and the Wiz. But I'd have to say that everyone on that roster is expendable except Butler.

Posted by: BenThere | May 11, 2009 12:10 PM

"almost everyone is talking about him like he's Auerbach/Phil Jackson/John Wooten all wrapped into one".........
Posted by: Urnesto | May 11, 2009 12:06 PM

__________________________________________

which of these things is not like the others........... I don't think you can include Phil Jackson in that short list just yet.

Posted by: BenThere | May 11, 2009 12:15 PM

Names and examples, please (with links, if you don't mind).
Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 12:07 PM

OWNED lol

Posted by: prescrunk | May 11, 2009 12:17 PM

OOPS, sorry. I guess you do have to include Phil Jackson in that short list. My bad....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Greatest_Players_in_NBA_History#Coaches

Posted by: BenThere | May 11, 2009 12:21 PM

Sac job isn't as bad as it seems. They have three talented young players in Martin, Thompson, and Udrih, and NO big money deals to aging veterans after they unloaded Brad Miller & Bibby. Clearly a team that is rebuilding, but the Maloofs have shown the willingness to spend the money to contend for a championship. They just never could get over the hump vs. the Lakers early in the decade.

Eddie was pretty relieved to be out of the Wiz job and probably knew better than anyone else that the team was in for a long season with the injuries and lack of upgrades. Don't be surprised if Sac gets the No. 1 pick and it turns out to be Blake Griffen! Petrie has shown he knows how to draft and acquire talent so it may not take long for the Kings to improve.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 11, 2009 12:39 PM

Hired to be Fired! The coaching profession in the NBA is very crazy.Five of the last eleven NBA Coach of the year have been fired.Byron Scott was close too being fired it would of been six.The Maloff Bros. should sleep on this decision.

Posted by: jeremydvid | May 11, 2009 12:49 PM

I can't see Eddie Jordan deified on this blog (of all places). In the first place, there's a contingent that absolutely despised him -- some of whom disappeared after his departure.

I just go back to Chuck Daly's advice: you coach as long as the players allow you to coach. When they stop listening, it's goodbye.

That'll be true for Flip Saunders, too, no matter how good a coach he might otherwise be.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 11, 2009 2:10 PM

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=090511/billups

A little something for all those still holding onto the idea that the only way a player can improve is to be force fed minutes on the court and who dismiss the vital importance of a work ethic, willingness to learn, and initiative behind the scenes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 2:12 PM

You are half right here. First
Gilbert put himself in that position because he broke a TEAM rule. Eddy shouldn't have played him at all that night.

But you are in love with Gil so you probably dont see it that way. Gilbert is the reason Gilbert got injured and took 3 years to hopefully recover. Yeah our Lebron, Kobe, D-Wade LOL


Posted by: kevenjones | May 11, 2009 12:00 PM

I can accept that, but fated decisions were made by all involved. What if the Team rule had not been broken? What if Eddie chose not to punish him? What if he chose not to play him at all as you suggested?

You get my point now.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 11, 2009 3:03 PM

"specifically putting Gilbert in a bad situation by not starting him and come cold off the bench and getting his knee rolled up on were all fated decisions."

Utter nonsense and hogwash. Coming off the bench had nothing to do with Arenas' injury. He got hurt because a 230 lb man went barreling into his knee at full force. The temperature of his knee is the height of insignificant irrelevancy.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 12:10 PM

Actually Kalo my good blogging friend. That would be incorrect. Fated decisions made contributed to his knee being in the spot when that 230 lb man went barreling into it.

It's like scheduling an airline flight, but at the last minute you miss your flight and the plane crashes and everybody dies.

Eddie was determined to emphasize defense and discipline the second half of the season and squabbles between he and Arenas occurred and he chose to discipline Gilbert because he broke a Team rule. What if he chose not to play Gilbert that game or to start him anyway, would his knee still have gotten rolled up on? No one knows, but for sure it was fate and decision making determines a huge part of it.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 11, 2009 3:18 PM

I hope EJ makes it - not because he's an exceptional coach - because he's a decent person.

Posted by: BenThere | May 11, 2009 12:10 PM

I really question whether he is a decent person. But that is too harsh. I guess all good intentioned decent folks make mistakes.

Somehow, I can't help but feel though that his treatment of Brendan Haywood was a bit more than just a mistake.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 11, 2009 3:27 PM

Bull. Pure and unadulterated.

Every player who's on the floor at any time during a game runs the risk of just that kind of injury (or some other kind). It's simply a risk that goes with being a player. Fate has jack-all to do with it.

And even if you insist on taking such a ridiculous stance, then ultimately the fault lies with Arenas for breaking the rule in the first place. To try and put the blame at Jordan's feet is simply the latest manifestation of the double standard. People rip him for supposedly not being tough or disciplined enough, then you turn around and rip him because his decision to instill discipline supposedly got Arenas hurt.

It's B.S. going in and B.S. coming out. It's a physical game, guys get hurt. End of story.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 3:30 PM

And to suggest that Jordan was a bad person for benching a guy who, at the time, was well-known for being a malcontent whiner who didn't always play hard is ridiculous.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 11, 2009 4:50 PM

"Somehow, I can't help but feel though that his treatment of Brendan Haywood was a bit more than just a mistake.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 11, 2009 3:27 PM "

And EJ was proved clearly flat wrong about BTH. He made EG look like a genius, while EJ a fool, by proving how critical to the team he was last season.

EJ in fact, probably lost all credibility with the team with his star system....letting Gilby and his antics run rampant to include openly questioning to the press the coach's mandate to play tougher D and insubordination by not telling EJ that he was planning to play until he made the grand entrance onto the court to EJ's surprise.

Both Gilby and MeTawn play hard on the offensive side, but clearly didn't play hard when it came to playing defense on their man.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 11, 2009 10:27 PM

To suggest that Brendan was a malcontent whiner who did not play hard is simply not true. Brendan did not get a fair chance to prove himself and he knew that Etan Thomas was not a center and should not have been given unearned playing time over him by Eddie.

Thats why they fought and I hope Brendan whipped his butt.

You see Eddie faulted Brendan for the Center he wasn't instead of realizing the value in the type of Center he really was.

Thank God that Grunfield knew better and had Eddie Jordan hall his butt to Brendan's home during the Offseason two summers ago and clear the air with him.

You don't do that for malcontents and slackers in which Brendan never was and you Kalo_rama of all people should know that.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 11, 2009 11:50 PM

And by the way Kalo_rama, some people believe in fate and some don't.

Things happen for sure, but how we look at and explain them is apparently very different from one person to the next.

Your explanation of why Gilbert got injured falls under the theory of Preditermination. In other words, all things are preditermined in advance and nothing that we do can change that. Thus, Gilbert was bound to bust his knee on that day and stay out 3-years and nothing he did or anyone else could have changed that.

Kalo_rama, I don't believe that everything is preditermined like you are describing. Sure injury is a part of sport and life as well, but I also believe that decisions we make guide our fate in life one way or the other.

If what you say is true, then practice and preparation, and decision making means nothing. That simply ain't so. Decisions made that day and prior to that day all came to play into Gilberts knee being rolled up on and decisions made after then have determined how long it's taken him to get back to game floor.

To insist that Eddie's influence and decision making had nothing to do with Gilberts injury shows a lack of understanding of the influence and phenomena we have on each and every person we meet or come in contact with or know of.

Hell Kalo_rama, I influence you and you influence me, and we have never met and I may make a decision based on something you wrote and you on something I wrote as well,

You might not want to admit that, but it is simply true.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 12, 2009 12:18 AM

Nonsense. Pure and simple.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 11:02 AM

"Your explanation of why Gilbert got injured falls under the theory of Preditermination. In other words, all things are preditermined in advance and nothing that we do can change that."

Nonsense, unadulterated and pure. My explanation falls under the category of s&*t happens. Guys get hurt playing basketball. It can't be predicted or predetermined. Either it happens or it doesn't, and there's no way to avoid it or predict it either way.

"I influence you and you influence me, and we have never met and I may make a decision based on something you wrote and you on something I wrote as well,"

Which is relevant how? Gilbert's injury wasn't the result of a "decision." Gerald Wallace wasn't "influenced" to run into Gilbert's knee by anything Jordan did or didn't do. it was simple random chance, over which no one had any control, least of all Jordan, because he was 20 feet away when it happened.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 11:10 AM

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