Eddie Jordan was officially introduced as the Sixers' new head coach this morning.
"It's very exciting to accept this responsibility and this challenge," Jordn said in his opening remarks to a Wachovia Center news conference. "I'm a coach, I love to coach. It's the richest tradition in basketball -- Philadelphia basketball, whether playground to the Sixers. It's the challenge at the top of the ladder when you talk about pure basketball. I'm very excited and humbled and giving it 100 percent to restore the tradition and the brand of basketball that the fans, the organization will be proud of."
Jordan said he met with Andre Igoudala last night and had spoken with Elton Brand. Igoudala, Willie Green and Jason Smith attended the press conference.
Immediately, Jordan was peppered with questions about his system and whether it fits the personnel that the Sixers have.
"There's a formula for each team to win and we're going to find that formula," Jordan said.
Said Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski: "Eddie's system fits us perfectly with the talent we have in this organization."
Jordan talked a lot about "interchangeable parts." "It's team basketball, enhances players that are not great scorers and makes great scorers help teammates. It's just not about perimeter shooting. At the end of the possession or somewhere during the possession, you're looking for a quality shot."
Although Stefanski and Jordan have a previous relationship with the Nets, Stefanski said that their interaction prior to Tony DiLeo’s decision to not return was minimal. He said they saw each other at games, texted each other and had a few phone calls.
“This was not that Eddie Jordan was going to be the coach and nobody else,” Stefanski said. “I told Eddie and all qualified candidates that this was going to be a process.”
Stefanski added that he was “very comfortable” with the selection process, despite assertions from some quarters that he went too slowly and others that he went too quickly. “I can’t make everybody happy,” he said.
Stefanski said what “sealed the deal” was Jordan’s second interview, which included more than 4 hours of “chalk talk.”
“We came away wowed,” Stefanski said. “This is the guy for us. He fits our need as a leader from a communication standpoint. He fits our need as an X and O guy and the development of young players. We are thrilled to have Eddie Jordan as the coach of the 76ers.”
Asked about his philosophy, Jordan said, “Stay organized offensively for 24, 48, 82. Stay organized through the offense for 24 seconds, 48 minutes, 82 games. You manage a game through the offense. Defense is a big key. This team is built through defensive players already. The offense will only help them.”
In terms of a learning curve, Jordan said, “It is very easy to learn. It’s harder to coach. That’s why Ed is paying me the money he is paying me.
“It’s basketball … There are so many parts that it’s consistent. I’ve had teams and tremendous players that once they are in the offense and once they understand it they don’t want to go back to a typical standaround NBA offense. There are going to be some frustration in it because I like to see it really pop and be in sync. I will demand that. I may push them a little bit harder, a little faster. If you are a basketball player with basketball IQ, you will learn.”
After two years of the Sixers making the playoffs and losing in the first round, Jordan said the team was "ready to take the next step" and vowed that this team would "play harder, smarter and longer than our opponents."
Look for full coverage of Eddie Jordan's hiring in Tuesday's Daily News.