Eddie Jordan Rumors
“After my last few experiences, I did not want to be a head coach in the NBA,” Jordan said in a recent interview. He wouldn’t elaborate on what led him to make his decision, stating simply that it was, “all of it combined.”
The Lakers grossly underachieved despite assembling a star-studded roster with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Jordan accepted the job with Rutgers before the Lakers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. “Mike Brown hired me. He was awesome. He allowed me to do a lot in a large role and when he was gone, Mike D’Antoni was gracious enough to keep me there and I really appreciate both those guys hiring me and retaining me. [Former Bullets/Wizards coach] Bernie Bickerstaff and I were reassigned to the back of the bench and we were okay. We were happy to be a part of it,” Jordan said. “It was a season of injuries, non-chemistry, getting to know each other as the season went along. Clashes of personalities and approaches and then it was more injuries. The injury factor and chemistry kept it dysfunctional to where you couldn’t have great success.”
“I thought, maybe I could be a really solid assistant. It’s almost a perfect place,” Jordan said of the Lakers. “We could win championships and I could sit there, and be like Tex Winters and let Phil Jackson take us championships and I could retire in the sunset, but it didn’t go that way. “I had three years of not doing this for sure, and this is what I’m built for, to be a head coach,” Jordan said. “It’s great to be a coach again. I jumped right in, didn’t have to talk to anybody. I knew what I was getting into. I wanted to prove that I could do it. But I did not want to be a head coach anymore in the NBA.”
About that due diligence: Despite all the accolades he’s received from the university and despite the school’s many claims to the contrary, Jordan hasn’t actually finished his degree, according to the Rutgers registrar’s office. The office sent me a verification document, found below, that indicates that Jordan attended classes at Rutgers from 1973 to 1977. He went on to take more classes in 1978, 1981, and 1985. There was no degree listed in the document. I called up the registrar’s office on Thursday and asked for clarification.
Eddie Jordan opened the blinds to the windows in his office on the second floor at Louis Brown Athletic Center, letting in some sunshine and giving him a view of the Rutgers campus he fell in love with 40 years ago. He leaned back in his seat and told a joke he shared recently with some of his college friends: “I said, ‘I’m back at work. I was on vacation the last 20 years.’ ”