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News » Jordan excited for fresh start with 76ers

Jordan excited for fresh start with 76ers

Jordan excited for fresh start with 76ersPHILADELPHIA (AP) - Stay-at-home dad has its perks.

Eddie Jordan dropped off his two youngest children at the bus stop in the morning. He dutifully picked them up in the afternoon.

He spent his days on lunch dates with his wife, or maybe grabbed his clubs and played a round or two of golf.

"Let me say this, winter golf is brutal in the east," Jordan said, laughing.

So is unemployment.

When the wife and kids went to bed, Jordan would stay up all night watching NBA games. His sixth season as coach of the Washington Wizards ended when he was fired on Nov. 24 after only 11 games. Every game on TV was one more reminder how much he missed the game and wanted back in the league.

The Philadelphia 76ers gave Jordan that chance - along with a three-year contract.

Jordan was where he wanted to be on Tuesday, back on the basketball court trying to shape the Sixers into a disciplined, defense-first team that can be a factor in the Eastern Conference.

"I've been to used to being at a place where I've had six years with a team and it flowed a little bit more smoothly," Jordan said. "That means I've got to stay here another five or six years so we really get in synch."

Jordan was in control for the first day of camp at Saint Joseph's University. SJU coach Phil Martelli and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim were among the spectators as the Sixers worked on their fastbreak offense and pressure defense. The installation of Jordan's Princeton offense was set for the night shift.

Jordan stopped one drill in the morning session and made all the Sixers tuck in their jerseys. Sloppy attire is up there with sloppy play on Jordan's list of no-no's.

"That's the first time we had a coach be so set on his ways," fifth-year guard Lou Williams said. "With the type of team we are, I think we're going to need our coach to be our leader."

Jordan would prefer his players handle the bulk of the leadership responsibilities, starting with Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala. Jordan issued a written quiz to his players asking them who they counted on as the team leader.

The answers where overwhelmingly for Brand.

"Elton came out with flying colors," Jordan said. "That's from his peers, not from us."

Brand, eager to put an injury-plagued first season in Philadelphia behind him, came out of the first practice feeling good and ready to start the season. He played only 37 games the last two seasons because of a ruptured Achilles' tendon in 2007 and underwent shoulder surgery last season.

Brand worked his way back into game shape with weeks of intense summer pickup games with other NBA stars. Working his psyche into believing he won't get seriously injured for a third straight season might take longer.

"It's how the mind works," Brand said. "It's human nature to think, oh, I don't want to get hurt again. I try to block that out. It happens. I admit it's in the back of my head that I don't want to get hurt again, absolutely.

"And I won't."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 30, 2009


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