Silver Chips Online

The fall guy

By Anshul Sood, Online Sports Editor
November 27, 2008
After more than five years of service to Washington, the Wizards repaid head coach Eddie Jordan by firing him on Tuesday after the team's 1-10 start to the season. Jordan is replaced by interim head coach Ed Tapscott, the former head coach at American University. Team president Ernie Grunfeld said he "felt it was time to make a change" - but Jordan was not the problem with the Wizards.
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan was fired for his team's early season failures. <i>Photo courtesy of the NBA.</i>
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan was fired for his team's early season failures. Photo courtesy of the NBA.


Jordan is merely the fall guy in this situation. The team is struggling, and Grunfeld was right that something needed to change. Unfortunately, the only thing he could change was the coach, so it was time for E.J. to go. But let's be honest, with all the injuries that have plagued the Wizards, Jordan has to be given credit for what he has been able to do. He has led the Wizards to four straight playoff appearances. In the last two years, he was able to do so with both Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler missing significant time, Arenas especially.

This season, Arenas is out again, as is back-up point guard Antonio Daniels and center Brendan Haywood, leaving the Wizards a depleted team. This is still no excuse for a 1-10 start, but Jordan was doing the best he could. He wasn't losing the games - the team was. Sure, some blame does go to the head coach. But the players have not been playing their best basketball this season. Nick Young has stepped up his game, but the Wizards have been shooting poorly, failing to defend and turning the ball over significantly. As Antawn Jamison told the Washington Post, "The team is 1-10, not the coaching staff."

But it's time to move on to the Tapscott era. Maybe E.T. (that probably won't stick) can get the Wizards out of their slump and into the playoffs this season. He notched a win in his first game as their coach with a 124-100 win over the Golden State Warriors. In the coming weeks before the return of Arenas, we will see if Jordan was the problem or the team was. I, for one, am anxious to know, and I'm sure Jordan is also.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/8744