Eddie Jordan Fired! How Dumb Can a Franchise Be?!
When a team struggles out of the gate of a regular season, the fans harboring the fringe of the team's fanbase always begin hollering for a change of leadership.
Some franchises are mature enough to disregard the cries of the extremists, however, others are as weak-minded as stormtroopers—easily influenced by forces beyond them [thank you, Obi-Wan Kenobi.]
From the firing of Eddie Jordan and his assistant Mike O'Koren, the Washington Wizards have proven to be the NBA's weakest franchise as of this moment for the 2008-09 season and, perhaps, the next couple of seasons to follow.
Moronic is not even a strong enough word for this debacle. Travesty is a better word. Abortion! Now, that is the best word for this fiasco...abortion! Disgusting, inhumane, immoral, stupid!
Let me take the readers back to the 2002-03 season: Michael Jordan was playing his final season for the Wizards, Doug Collins was the head coach, Kwame Brown was in his sophomore season in the NBA (and screwing up royally), Jerry Stackhouse was the leading scorer for the team, Brendan Haywood was still trying to prove that he can be at best a second-tier center for a second-tier NBA team, and the Wizards completed their FIFTH STRAIGHT losing season and SIXTH STRAIGHT year of missing the postseason.
So, Michael Jordan retired, but was expected to work in the front office as the President for the Wizards following that season. However, Abe Pollin fired Michael Jordan. Then, Pollin fired head coach Doug Collins.
In Collins's place, Pollin hired Eddie Jordan, a Washington D.C. native who had spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach to Byron Scott's under-appreciated New Jersey Nets who had won the Eastern Conference Championship in both those seasons!
Added on to that team was a free agent from the Golden State Warriors, who had only two years of professional experience in the NBA and had unknown potential—Gilbert Arenas.
With a new system and a new coach, the Wizards struggled that first season going 25-57 in the 2003-04 season. However, Eddie Jordan developed the Wizards into a "Big Three" offense.
After trading Jerry Stackhouse to the Dallas Mavericks for Antawn Jamison, Jordan had his system ready. Jamison, Arenas, and Larry Hughes formed the first "Big Three" and the Wizards STUNNED the Eastern Conference, going 45-37 in the 2004-05 season.
The Wizards had their first winning season in SEVEN YEARS and were playoff-bound for the first time in EIGHT!
In the first round of the 2005 playoffs, the Wizards upset the Chicago Bulls in six games, capturing their first postseason series win since 1982!
Following the 2005 playoffs, the Wizards were dealt a blow when they lost free agent Larry Hughes to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Wizards responded by trading Kwame Brown to the Lakers for Caron Butler, who would eventually be an All-Star selection representing the Wizards.
Eddie Jordan made Butler a key addition to the offense by inserting him into his new "Big Three" joining Arenas and Jamison. The Wizards would clinch the playoffs that upcoming season as well as the following two seasons.
In fact, last season, the Wizards started off with an 0-5 record. Two games later, Arenas sustained an injury that kept him out until late March. Thus, with Arenas missing 69 of the 82 games in the 2007-08 season and with an 0-5 start, the Wizards finished with a winning season and seized the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference.
They did so with players like Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Brendan Haywood stepping up like all-star professionals.
Again, these players had been around with other coaches, or in the case of Butler and Jamison, with other teams. Yet, it was under Eddie Jordan that these players became formidable stars.
Jamison and Butler were selected to their first All-Star games under Eddie Jordan's tenure, and Haywood was robbed of a selection last season [in my opinion, of course].
And let us not forget about the Great One...Agent Zero himself, Gilbert Arenas. He earned three All-Star appearances during this tenure of Eddie Jordan, including one selection as a starter! It has been decades since Washington basketball had such a talented group of players.
Hmm, so Eddie Jordan was a bad coach, right Mr. Pollin? Critics would argue that after knocking off the Bulls in the first round in 2005, the Wizards have been bounced out early in the opening round of the playoffs in the next three seasons and that is somehow Eddie Jordan's fault.
Hmm, in the 2007 playoffs, the Wizards were missing Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler for the entire postseason due to freakish injuries sustained late in the season.
TELL ME! HOW CAN A TEAM BE EXPECTED TO PERFORM WELL IN THE PLAYOFFS WHEN THEIR TOP TWO SCORERS ARE MISSING IN ACTION?! HOW?!
So, the Wizards got off to a very bad start this season. They are currently 1-10. That is very, very bad.
Yet, once again, how is Jordan responsible for the fact that Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood have been on the Injured Reserve List for EVERY game this season so far?
Even Caron Butler has been playing hurt. The injury bug bit the Wizards hard this year, but, then again, the bug has bitten the Wizards for the last several seasons in the Eddie Jordan era.
It was the utter coaching genius of Jordan that kept the team intact and competitive for those last few years. This year, for the first time, it caught up with Jordan.
Yet, Jordan gets shoved out the door in the most undignified way? This is the man who...um...kinda like...saved the franchise? This is the man who...oh...like...made the Wizards a marketable team to watch?
This decision to fire Eddie Jordan was not moronic. It was not a travesty. IT WAS AN ABORTION!
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