AP Source: 76ers will fire Jordan after 1 season

AP Source: 76ers will fire Jordan after 1 season

Published April 15, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Eddie Jordan and his Princeton offense flunked in Philadelphia.

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Eddie Jordan will be fired Thursday after one season as Philadelphia 76ers coach.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement has not been made. Jordan is finished after an underachieving season that had the Sixers mired near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Jordan was hired last summer and sold his Princeton offense as the way to turn them into contenders.

Instead, players were unhappy with his system almost from the start. The Sixers finished 27-55 and missed the playoffs for the first time in three years.

The Sixers will look for their fourth coach in three seasons.

Jordan, who was fired last season by Washington, has two years left on his contract and is owed $6 million.

The person did not address the status of team president and general manager Ed Stefanski. Stefanski hired Jordan last May. Jordan, who starred at Rutgers, had ties with Stefanski from their four seasons together with the New Jersey Nets.

Jordan said Wednesday he was "not concerned" about his job security before the Sixers lost to the Magic 125-111 to end the season. Jordan had said he anticipated a team meeting, player-exit meetings and taking his staff out to lunch on Thursday.

"If you want to be judged alone on the record, then we are where we are," Jordan said. "But as far as track record, as far as how the league works, as far as evaluating your personnel, maybe we need more time."

He won't get any more.

Jordan's dismissal had been widely speculated for months. His hire was panned by fans and media from the day he arrived and the players never warmed to the Princeton offense.

Marreese Speights, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams were among the promising core of young players whose progress took a major step back this season. Elton Brand hasn't performed up to the $80 million contract Stefanski gave him two summers ago, Samuel Dalembert was his usual erratic self and Andre Iguodala continued to prove he can't carry the franchise.

The decision to bring back former franchise great Allen Iverson was a short-lived bust.

"The talent is there, it is just a matter of putting it all together," Iguodala said Wednesday.

Philadelphia was the Eastern Conference's No. 6 seed last season, eliminated in the first round by the Magic in six games. Now the Sixers are headed for the draft lottery. Their only key loss was point guard Andre Miller.

"They judged the team from their performance last year and the personnel lost," Jordan said. "Obviously, the personnel changed, maybe, maybe expectations should change. Maybe."

Brand was healthy for the first time in three years, but the power forward who was once a 20-10 regular, was often benched for long stretches and crucial fourth quarters. Jordan openly criticized Brand and Dalembert's effort and missing defensive awareness after a loss last week.

"There were times things happened (under Jordan), but it was a feel-out process during the season," Brand said after Wednesday night's game. "That is understandable and didn't work that well for us as the record indicates."

No one expected the Sixers to contend for the Eastern Conference title. But this kind of steep dropoff was a surprise.

This move could be seen coming in January when Stefanski refused to say Jordan's job was safe for the rest of the season with the team off to a 10-25 start, nor did he offer a single word of praise for his first-year coach.

Jordan had a 230-288 record as coach of the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings, but Stefanski gave him a three-year deal.

Stefanski now has to wonder if he'll be the one calling the shots on the next coach.


AP Sports Writer Antonio Gonzalez in Orlando, Fla., contributed to this report.

Written by DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer


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