Seen and heard at Madison Square Garden
NEW YORK - As the Wizards have staggered to a 1-10 start, coach Eddie Jordan admits the going hasn't been easy. He knew All-Star Gilbert Arenas wouldn't be ready at the start of the season, then he had to absorb the loss of center Brendan Haywood, who was coming off a career year.
Add Arenas' replacement, Antonio Daniels, being in and out of the lineup with a sore right knee, and the headaches intensify. Jordan has All-Stars Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler but still has had to plug holes with a slowly maturing Andray Blatche, second-year players Nick Young, Dominic McGuire, Dee Brown and Oleksiy Pecherov, and rookie JaVale McGee.
All of that has made this the stiffest challenge of Jordan's career.
"Yeah, it's been tough because it wears on you," Jordan admitted before Saturday's game. "You go to bed with it, you wake up with it. In the morning, a win or a loss is magnified when you wake up. A win feels a little bit better in the morning than it did even that night - and a loss feels just as worse."
On how he copes with the stress, Jordan said: "My wife helps me out a lot. My kids, your household helps you out a lot, and my assistant coaches are great. Even the players. They text me and say, 'Coach, we're behind you 100 percent.'"
Jordan also said he speaks with team president Ernie Grunfeld often and believes his boss understands the challenges he is facing.
"We've always been in this together," Jordan said. "From the support Ernie gave me over the summer, picking up my option without me even knowing about it or even us talking about it ... the support's there. And I think we all understand where we are."
- Mike Jones
"I tell them, 'The Knicks are seeing a 1-9 team, and they're going to be licking their chops.' ... No one's more down than us recordwise."
- Eddie Jordan, advising his Wizards not to take the short-handed Knicks lightly even though New York dressed only seven players