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November 24, 2008

Second Coaching Change: Jordan Out in D.C.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Pelton @ 2:15 pm

It’s not even Thanksgiving, and already we have our second NBA head-coaching change. Predictably, it was the NBA’s other one-win team, the Washington Wizards, who made the move two days after their counterparts in Oklahoma City. Eddie Jordan was let go after five-plus years at the helm of the Wizards, along with associate head coach Mike O’Koren, a Jordan loyalist.

Jordan’s demise was not unexpected, given the Wizards have started 1-10 and lost Saturday to a short-handed Knicks squad that played just seven players. More surprising is his replacement, Ed Tapscott. I was only familiar with Tapscott as a front-office executive, the role he held in Charlotte for the first three years of the Bobcats’ existence (where he also had oversight of business operations) and in New York before that. I had not realized that Tapscott was a head coach at American University in D.C. for nine years in the ’80s and had been working with the Washington coaching staff since last year as director of player development/programs.

Still, Tapscott seems like an odd choice, unless his role is heavy on the interim. Randy Ayers, who coached the 76ers for one season and has more extensive and more recent college head-coaching experience, is a more natural fit.

The Wizards are bound to improve. There’s way too much talent on this team to be 1-10, especially as the team gets healthy. The injuries may have ultimately cost Jordan his job. Washington could survive without Gilbert Arenas, but losing Arenas’ backup (Antonio Daniels) and defensive anchor Brendan Haywood proved far too much to overcome.

by Bradford Doolittle 

The Wizards have pulled the plug on highly-respected Eddie Jordan, sacking the sixth-year coach and his top assistant, Mike O’Koren.

Washington is off to a 1-10 start with projected starters Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood out with injuries. The on-court picture is grim—the Wizards are near the bottom of the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency against a middle-of-the-pack schedule. However, Jordan had led Washington to four straight .500-or-better finishes and four straight playoff appearances. Prior to that run, the franchise had missed the playoffs in 15 out of 16 seasons.

Jordan will be replaced on an interim basis by Wizards director of player development Ed Tapscott. ESPN is also reporting that former Ohio State coach Randy Ayers will be Tapscott’s top assistant.

Tapscott has held about every basketball-related job you can hold, and that includes broadcasting. His only previous head coaching experience was an eight-year stint at American University in the 1980s.

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