- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2003

The Washington Wizards are scheduled to meet with New Jersey assistant coach Eddie Jordan today to discuss their coaching vacancy — but they are not the only team that covets him.

Jordan is expected to be the first coaching candidate the Wizards have interviewed and has ascended to their top choice. However, Jordan had his second round of interviews yesterday with the front office of the Philadelphia 76ers, who are looking to replace Larry Brown. Brown left the 76ers and accepted the coaching job in Detroit, replacing Rick Carlisle.

When he gets to his interview with the Wizards, Jordan could very well be mulling an offer from Philadelphia.

Jordan is the 76ers’ top choice to replace Brown. He closed yesterday with a lengthy meeting with Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, the parent company that owns the 76ers and Flyers.

Jordan is viewed by many as the best assistant coach in the league, much in the same way that Golden State’s Eric Musselman, who was an assistant in Atlanta before the Warriors hired him, was perceived last summer. The Warriors improved by 17 wins in Musselman’s first season.

Philadelphia is believed to have whittled its list of candidates down to Jordan and 76ers assistant Randy Ayers. The 76ers have also interviewed Miami assistant Bob McAdoo, but he is considered a long shot.

The Wizards will have to act fast if they want to land Jordan, the man mostly responsible for the offensive system the Nets used effectively until they ran into San Antonio in the NBA Finals.

Although Jordan is from this area and is said to want to return, Philadelphia offers one thing that Washington doesn’t: Allen Iverson.

Jordan’s main competition for the Wizards job, which became vacant when Doug Collins was fired last month, is believed to be Carlisle.

Jordan is considered a very good communicator, especially with younger players. He has received a lot of the credit for toning down New Jersey forward Kenyon Martin’s game.

This is one of the reasons why the Wizards are interested in Jordan. Like the Nets, they have a temperamental young power forward in Kwame Brown who may have the potential to become a star.

Brown was the top pick in the 2001 draft. However, his confidence — or lack thereof after run-ins with Michael Jordan and Collins — have created concerns as to whether he will continue to develop here.

Although they have not yet contacted him concerning the opening, former Maryland star John Lucas told The Washington Times he would be interested in talking with Wizards owner Abe Pollin about the coaching job.

Lucas was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers in January after a team that had nine players 25 and under got off to an 8-34 start. Lucas also has served as the head coach in San Antonio (1992-94), and in Philadelphia Lucas held both the coach and general manager positions (1994-96). He took the Spurs to back-to-back playoff appearances.

The Wizards are still searching for a president of basketball operations, and have thus far interviewed Len Elmore. They have also requested permission to talk to Bob Lanier, now working as an assistant to commissioner David Stern. Lanier is out of the country this week but could be interviewed for the job next week.

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