Sixer Sense Spotlight: Head Coach Eddie Jordan


One of the biggest changes to the Sixers’ roster for the upcoming season is the addition of new head coach, Eddie Jordan.  There has been some heated debate over whether Jordan has what it takes to lead the Sixers to the next level.  Before we start tossing around our opinions however, let’s take a closer look at Eddie Jordan’s career and accomplishments in this Sixer Sense Spotlight.

High School and College Career

Eddie Jordan was born and raised in Washington D.C.  He graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School in 1973 where he was a standout basketball player.  He then went on to play his college ball at Rutgers University.  He led Rutgers to a Final Four appearance as a junior and earned East Regional MVP honors.  The next year he was selected as an honorable mention All-American while breaking Rutgers all time records in career assists (585) and career steals (220).  Later the same year, he was drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Midway through his rookie season he was dealt to the New Jersey Nets where he would spend the following four years.  He then did a three year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers and won a World Championship with them in 1982.  He then played one season with the Portland Trailblazers before calling it quits in 1984.  Over seven seasons in the NBA, Jordan averaged 8.1 points, 3.8 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.

Coaching Career

After bouncing around as an assistant coach in the NCAA for four years with Rutgers, Old Dominion, and Boston College, Jordan was hired as the assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings in 1992.  After serving as an assistant for five years, he was promoted to head coach late in the 1996-97 season.  He earned the right to stay on as head coach for the following season, but after a disappointing 33-64 record, he was fired in 1998.  He then joined his former team, the New Jersey Nets as an assistant for four season.  The Nets won back to back Conference Championships under his tutelage in 2002 and 2003.  Following the 2003 season, the Wizards hired Jordan as their head coach, a much awaited return to head coaching for Jordan.  His hometown crowd did not give him much love however in his inaugural season after a dismal 25-57 performance.  The following season however, Jordan’s Wizards were the most improved team in the NBA; winning 20 more games than in the season prior, holding a 45-37 season record, the best the Wizards franchise had seen in almost 30 years.  The team earned a five seed in the NBA playoffs, the first playoff appearance for the Wizards in almost ten years.  Jordan’s team extended its season by beating the Chicago Bulls in the first round, four games to two.  Jordan led the Wizards to playoff berths in each of the next three seasons as well, but could not find his way out of the first round.  These playoff struggles and a 1-10 start in 2007 eventually led to Jordan being let go as head coach.  His 197 wins as coach rank third in Wizards’ franchise history.

A New Beginning

As the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, Jordan will have a unique opportunity to do what he was not able to do in Washington for four consecutive years.  The Sixers have also struggled in the playoffs the past few years, not being able to advance deep into the postseason.  Which begs the question, if the Sixers’ ultimate goal is a long playoff run or possibly even a Conference Championship, why did we hire a head coach so notorious for mediocrity in the postseason?  Personally, I would liked to have seen the Sixers go with a coach more experienced with the kinds of goals the franchise has.  Although his turnaround of the Wizards’ franchise was most impressive, the Sixers are a very different franchise.  Philadelphia has a solid roster loaded with talent, but just need that extra push to get them into the Conference Finals.  The Sixers are no longer a lowly franchise looking to improve and settle for mediocre seasons.  Winning is expected in Philadelphia and the fans will let Eddie know if wins don’t come early and often.  I don’t think he has what it takes to take this team to the next level.  Let me know what you think.

-Frank Higgins