Eddie Jordan hopes to meet Sixers soon
PHILADELPHIA -- Former NBA coach Eddie Jordan has expressed interest in the Philadelphia 76ers head coaching job and hopes to meet with team president Ed Stefanski by the end of the weekend.
"He needs a coach, and I'm a coach that's looking for a job," Jordan said by phone Wednesday night.
Jordan, who was fired by the Washington Wizards in November, already interviewed with the Sacramento Kings this week. He said he planned to speak with Stefanski after the Sixers president returned from Chuck Daly's funeral in Florida.
"I hate to use the word anxious, but I would like to get back in," Jordan said. "I really miss it."
The Sixers might be a better fit for Jordan, who was speaking from his home in Maryland. He played at Rutgers and has ties with Stefanski from their four seasons together with the New Jersey Nets. Jordan was an assistant when the Nets played in two straight NBA finals and Stefanski served in various positions in the organization including general manager.
"We had had some tremendous success together," Jordan said. "There's a lot of positives in that, a lot of hard work in that."
Jordan had "minimal contact" with the Sixers, and this would be his first face-to-face interview with Stefanski. Jordan hoped an interview would happen before the weekend.
The Sixers are in better shape to return to the playoffs and are closer to contention than the Kings.
Philadelphia went 41-41 and was eliminated in six games by the Orlando Magic. It was the second straight season the Sixers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. With Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young, a promising nucleus is in tact for the right coach to mold them into Eastern Conference contenders. Philadelphia went 32-27 under Tony DiLeo, who replaced the fired Maurice Cheeks. DiLeo stepped down as coach on Monday and returned to the front office.
"It's a good team. You don't make it to the playoffs two years in a row without being a good team," Jordan said. "They have the right temperament and personality to make it in the NBA. They find ways to score and create points."
Stefanski said this week that he would have a "wide open" search and was looking for a strong communicator and leader.
"We have to get it right and we will get it right," Stefanski said Monday. "We're not going to rush into something just to get it done quickly. It will be in a timely fashion."
TNT analyst Doug Collins is also a candidate for the Sixers job.
Jordan had his first head coaching job in Sacramento from March 1997 until 1998, when he was fired after going 33-64. He was replaced by Rick Adelman, who led the Kings to eight consecutive winning seasons and playoff berths.
Sacramento fired interim coach Kenny Natt last month after the club finished an NBA-worst 17-65 during a season in which they fired coach Reggie Theus early in his second year.
The Wizards fired Jordan last November early in his sixth season with the club after 197 victories and four playoff appearances.
The Kings planned to interview Dallas Mavericks' executive vice president of basketball operations Paul Westphal.
Jordan felt good about his interview with Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, and team president Geoff Petrie on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
"He displayed some very interesting insights in his analysis of our current roster," Petrie said on the team Web site. "We also talked about his development as a coach over the years, and he provided his thoughts on how a young Washington Wizards team improved during his tenure into a team that made the Playoffs in four out of his five full seasons there."
The Wizards owe Jordan nearly $4 million next season and would have to pay the difference on the contract from Jordan's new team. Jordan, perhaps wisely, declined to pick a preferred job.
"One of 30 jobs in the NBA is my preference," he said, laughing. "I have a great relationship with both presidents. It's a great situation. It's win-win."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Kobe 'pleased' with health, targets Sunday
- Bulls' Rose won't rule out a playoff return
- Knicks end 9-game skid, drop Nets to 5-14
- Clips overpower Griz, give Rivers 600th win