Appreciate Eddie Jordan, even if you wanted him gone

I don't have much time today to write a ton about the Eddie Jordan firing.  The short version, to me, is that it's unfortunate, but necessary considering that, at 1-10 with losses to several bad teams, a high seed in the playoffs was never going to happen.  This team needed a new voice at the helm, and Eddie Jordan isn't it.  I will always wonder what would have happened to this team if there were no injuries, but injuries cannot excuse a 1-10 start like this. 

However, before we ride Eddie off into the sunset, I think we need to remember what he brought to this team.  It's a cliche, but before Eddie came on board, this franchise was a laughingstock.  We were coming off the Jordan years, a period that robbed our roster of all its young talent and saddled it with overpriced veterans.  To turn things around as quickly as we did is a credit to Ernie Grunfeld, but it's also a credit to Eddie Jordan.  It was Eddie Jordan that was here to make this franchise respectable again and it was Eddie Jordan who provided the building blocks for future success, no matter how disasterous this season has been.

It was Eddie Jordan's system that turned our offense into one of the league's best over the past few years.  Throughout his tenure, Eddie Jordan was dealt a team that lacked a prototypical pass-first point guard and a strong post-up big man.  He was given a team with three extremely talented perimeter scorers (first Hughes, then Butler) that lacked several seemingly  essential tools for their respective positions.  Gilbert Arenas and Larry Hughes were seen as shoot-first gunners that were combo guards.  Antawn Jamison was seen as a soft tweenter.  Caron Butler had been traded twice because his team could not find a position for him.  And yet, Eddie created an offensive system designed to make the most of those players' talents, rather than putting square pegs in round holes.  He put them in a position to succeed, which will be essential for the next coach of this club.  And for that, he deserves a ton of credit.

Eddie always got his teams to play hard, even by the end of his tenure.  The players loved him and did all they could for him.  Eddie's coaching job in bringing last year's team to the playoffs without Arenas was outstanding.  We should not overlook it.

Of course, Eddie had too many faults to continue as head coach.  We've talked about them before, so there's no need to rehash them here.  I support Ernie's decision to relieve him of his duties and I am confident it will eventually help the team.

But gosh-dang-it, Eddie Jordan still deserves some appreciation during his swan song.  He brought an air of respectability and professionalism to a franchise desperately seeking it.  For that, he should be commended.

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