Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

May 13, 2009
Jordan makes his case

LAS VEGAS - Eddie Jordan had a few minutes to chat before heading off to a late-night dinner with Geoff Petrie, and that alone should be a reminder that he's in a class all his own in this Kings search.

Having just missed catching up with him on the casino floor, I caught Jordan by phone and he was more than willing to talk about the interview that had just gone down with the team's basketball president and Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof. Here are his thoughts that didn't make today's story, followed by the extensive thoughts of Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof. To review, the interview took place inside a room in the Palms Tower of the hotel. Jordan's case has been made and is over with, while Paul Westphal is up tomorrow.

Below is the extra material that is not in the story. Also be sure to read Ailene Voisin's column on the situation. Lastly, the early opinion from the fans is looking good for Jordan.


On the Kings' unofficial mantra of "nowhere to go but up" and whether the reality of almost-certain improvement makes this an appealing job...

"No. 1, there's no guarantee that things are going to get better. There are no guarantees in the NBA. The NBA is a tough league to win in. You've got to have the main guys developing. You've got to have the main guys healthy. You've got to get through an 82-game schedule. There's no guarantee. As soon as you think that things can get better, sometimes they don't. You just have to put in the hard work, have a lot of trust, and you know sometimes you have to have good luck.

"It's going to be exciting to see the lottery next week. Let's see where everybody is going to be as far as picking. That'll be exciting. And I just want to take it step by step. Go through the process, get to know Joe and Gavin and the roster. They had good ideas, we had great discussion, great dialogue. We'll see if there's an offer, if they're going to interview other people. That sort of thing."

On whether Jordan's firing in 1998 plays any part in his desire to return to Sacramento...

"I told Geoff and the Maloofs this, I said, 'It worked out for the best for everybody.' Rick Adelman was a terrific coach, they were a terrific team, they did some exciting things in the NBA. I went on to help (then New Jersey head coach) Byron (Scott). Byron and I were part of the Nets (NBA) finals team two years in a row (2002 and 2003) and I got a head job (in Washington) and got to the playoffs four years in a row, did some things in Washington they hadn't done in 20 some-odd years, so it was the right decision. Pat Riley told me when I was let go (from Sacramento) that it was just a bump in the road. He said, 'You're a terrific coach, a lot of good things are going to happen. It's just a part of the journey, just a bump in the road. That's exactly what it was."


On how he perceived Jordan before meeting him for the first time and how the interview changed his perception...

"I knew his playoff record, four out of five years (qualifying for the) playoffs in Washington. I knew he was well liked in Sacramento, and the people in the organization all liked him personally. And I think Geoff has a fondness for him as well. That's kind of what I knew. And what I found out was that it's probably all true (laughs)....It was a good interview, and I really haven't heard a negative comment about him to be honest with you."

On what Jordan said about the current Kings...

"He likes our players, likes all the young guys that we have, thinks they could be very coachable. He's very impressed with Spencer (Hawes), Jason (Thompson) and of course Kevin (Martin) as well. He showed us defensive sets and what he did, offensive philosophies, spacing and all that.

On the topic of defense and the perception that teaching it is a weakness for Jordan...

"(The Wizards) had a really good defensive team two years ago. They played (well) against Detroit (in the playoffs). I think that's kind of the misnomer, that he was just offensive. You see what's happened (Denver coach) George Karl, that was the big knock on him that he was all offense and you just saw what they've done. They play some defense."

At this point, I mentioned that the coach the Kings let go back in 2006, Rick Adelman, could fall in the same category with his current team in Houston...

"Yeah, he's done a good job in the playoffs. Yeah, true, you're right. He has done a good job, no question."

On what's next...

"We're just following Geoff's lead, really. We don't have a timetable. We don't have any preconceived ideas. We're just following his lead. When he's comfortable and he's ready to act, then we'll probably be on the same path." - Sam Amick

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