Eddie Jordan was going to have a young, athletic, fastbreaking team run a patient, screen-pick-and-roll offense. He took over a team that was on the rise and hopes were high. Instead, Jordan alienated his players - especially Brand - didn't play first-round pick and point guard of the future Jrue Holiday, and impeded the progress of promising youngsters Thaddeus Young and Marreese Speights. All three players took a step backward when they needed a major step forward. Hope was replaced with disappointment and despair. Jordan coached a team that had finished .500 the year before under Mo Cheeks and Tony DiLeo (41-41) to an underachieving and miserable 27-55 season.
Doug Collins, who quite a few people were hoping would succeed DiLeo, took over in 2010-11 and led the team to a 41-41 record. On the bright side, the poor finish led to the Sixers doing well in the draft lottery. They drew the No. 2 pick and drafted Evan Turner.
While Jordan was a bad fit here, he wasn't the only disastrous decision in franchise history.
In 1972, looking to replace Jack Ramsay, who had bolted for the Buffalo Braves, general manager Don DeJardin wanted Al McGuire, the highly successful and colorful coach from Marquette. As DeJardin recalled, McGuire had accepted the job but was rejected by ownership when "he asked for up-front payments.'' So DeJardin settled on Roy Rubin, the defensive wizard from Long Island University. Long story short, the team was terrible and Poor Roy Rubin, as Daily News beat writer Jack Kiser called him, was overmatched from Day 1. Rubin, not a thin man, lasted 105 days and lost 45 pounds and 47 games. He was fired at the All-Star break with a 4-47 record.
In 1992, Doug Moe inherited a Charles Barkley-less team, coached like he couldn't care less and finished 19-37 before being replaced by Fred Carter.
Enter John Lucas in 1994. When owner Harold Katz gave Lucas, a recovering substance abuser, the keys to the kingdom, there was a lot of head-scratching. True, Lucas was saddled with Shawn Bradley and overrated free agent Scott Williams, but he drafted Sharone Wright with the sixth pick in the '94 draft and B.J. Tyler with the 20th. Lucas brought in Lloyd Daniels in '94 and Richard Dumas in '95, both of whom had a drug history. Daniels lasted five games in and Dumas 39.
Johnny Davis was a well-respected NBA assistant coach - he was also on the 1976-77 Portland team that beat the Sixers in six games for the NBA championship - when the Sixers hired him in 1996, but he was not NBA head coach material. He had a young backcourt of Jerry Stackhouse and Allen Iverson that he could not handle, and the team lost 60 games. Both Davis and GM Brad Greenberg lasted 1 year, opening the door for the best "outside'' hiring in team history, Larry Brown.
As a footnote, Jordan was hired as an assistant by the Los Angeles Lakers in September to run the Princeton offense. Have you looked at the Lakers' record lately? Kobe, Dwight and Nash are 1-4, after going 0-8 in the preseason. Just sayin'.
Next: Nov. 23, Where's practice?