The Sixers have now confirmed a deal has been agreed to "in principle" with Eddie Jordan.
Here is the quote from Sixers General Manager Ed Stefanski:
"I saw first-hand the immense impact Eddie Jordan had in helping the Nets reach two NBA Finals and as the head coach in Washington, he consistently put his teams in a position to win on a nightly basis," Stefanski said. "He embodies all the qualities I was looking for in the next head coach of the Sixers and we are very excited to have him in Philadelphia."
An official press conference will be held Monday.
Sources have confirmed that the offer is for 3 yrs. Jordan is currently owed $4 million from the Washington Wizards. If the Sixers' gig pays less, that will off set.
Jordan, formerly the head coach of the Wizards, first interviewed two weeks ago. He finished a second interview in the past few days. On his first interview, Jordan met Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider, a clear sign that he was at the top of the list. In his second interview, sources have confirmed he met with Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko.
Jordan and Sixers General Manager Ed Stefanski worked together for four seasons at the New Jersey Nets. And one source close to the situation indicated that Stefanski's past history with Jordan -- his level of comfort with him -- played a factor in Stefanski's decision. During those seasons in New Jersey, the Nets went to back-to-back NBA Finals.
Here's the breakdown on Jordan: His career coaching record is 230-288. He's 54 years old. He coached the Sacramento Kings in 1997-98 before being fired just before they completed the rebuilding process. Then he went to New Jersey as an assistant. He was in Washington for 5 full seasons and 11 games of this past season. After starting this season 1-10, Jordan and assistant coach Mike O'Koren were fired. The Wizards had major injuries this season, clearly playing a factor in that poor start. In 4 of the 5 seasons in Washington, the Wizards made the playoffs.
Some logistics remain unclear: The details of the offered contract, the length, money, etc. What is clear is that coaching the 76ers was the top option for Jordan, who also interviewed for the Sacramento Kings vacancy. Jordan was born in Washington, D.C. and played his college ball at Rutgers University.
We've talked a little about Jordan and what he brings to the table, but here it is: Jordan runs the Princeton Offense, which he learned while in Sacramento working with Pete Carril, famed coach of Princeton. The offense is predicated on reading and reacting to the defense, based on backdoor cuts, and based on ball movement and cutting. Because of the Wizards up-tempo pace during Jordan's 5-plus seasons there, he got a rap as a poor defensive coach. One source has indicated that rap is bogus and that Jordan adapted to the players he had in Washington, players that needed to get up and down and shoot quickly.
A big problem for the Sixers, as we all know, is the pending issue of effectively incoporating power forward Elton Brand into the offensive sets. This past season the offense seemed out of sync. In talking with those understanding Jordan's style, he seems like he has some ideas about how to tackle this issue.
Ok, we're in the very early stages of understanding Jordan and what he might bring to the table, but it seems only fair to point out that his career record took quite a hit in Sacramento when he was made head coach at a time when they were finishing the rebuilding process. He was removed as head coach right when they were poised to improve.
Thus concludes a length, secretive search. Stefanski has commented only once, in a press release. Spectulation swirled that the entire 6-candidate, 18-day process was just a smoke screen to hire Jordan, but Stefanski appeared dedicated to his "due diligence," even saying he would "reach out" to guys like Jeff Van Gundy and Doug Collins.
In the end, though, it came back to Jordan, as many expected it might.