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They needed their franchise player to make shots in the fourth quarter. They needed Brendan Haywood to block shots and alter others. They needed Mason lurking on the 3-point line. They needed Blatche to be committed to the cause. And they needed Antonio Daniels to be healthy, looking to squeeze the last remnants of effectiveness out of his 33-year-old body.

All this was on Jordan and O’Koren?

Hardly. They are not medicine men. They cannot help Daniels with the Fountain of Youth. They cannot inject Blatche with a massive dose of passion.

What they could do - and they did this well - was help the team absorb the blows that kept coming its way since it had the best record in the conference at the All-Star cutoff in 2007.

Now Jordan and O’Koren are out the door, available to lead another franchise.

That will happen, too.

They eventually will head another team. That is coaching life in the NBA, unpleasant and unfair as it is sometimes.

And Monday in Tony Cheng’s neighborhood was both unpleasant and unfair.