Friday, January 8, 2010
Updated: January 9, 4:42 PM ET
Stefanski: 'I'm not happy with anything'
PHILADELPHIA -- Eddie Jordan's stay in Philadelphia could be a short one.
Philadelphia 76ers president Ed Stefanski refused to say Jordan's job was safe for the rest of the season with the team off to a 10-24 start, nor did he offer a single word of praise for his first-year coach.
Stefanski instead held the entire organization accountable for a slide that has left the Sixers with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference entering Friday night's game against Toronto.
"It's not just the head coach," Stefanski said before tip-off. "It's the coaches, the players and myself. No one is happy here."
The Sixers were hardly expected to contend in the East this season, but more was expected from them after making the playoffs the last two seasons. Their only notable loss from last year was point guard Andre Miller. A healthy Elton Brand and some promising young players were expected to help the Sixers contend for a playoff spot.
But Brand, suffering from a stomach virus Friday, fell out of favor with Jordan and was benched.
Stefanski took some of the blame for the woeful start.
"If you're looking at the record, I haven't done a real good job so far," he said.
Asked to review Jordan, Stefanski simply said, "I'm not happy with anything."
Stefanski said he feels no real pressure to make a big move before the NBA's Feb. 18 trade deadline. Many of Stefanski's moves in two-plus seasons as president and GM have not panned out.
He gave former coach Maurice Cheeks two contract extensions in seven months before firing him last season with the Sixers off to a 9-14 start. His $80 million investment in Brand is shaping up to be a huge bust. He refused to move Miller at last year's trade deadline, feeling a shot at the playoffs was worth some short-term hurt with a place in the lottery.
Stefanski also made the unpopular decision to hire his longtime friend Jordan and give him a three-year deal, even with Jordan's 230-288 career record as coach of the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings.
Jordan's touted Princeton offense has fizzled with this roster.
"We've said in the past, the Princeton offense has been watered down with changes that were made," Stefanski said. "We've run a lot more pick-and-roll sets. I don't see the offense being an issue as much as the defensive end."
The Sixers are last in the NBA in 3-point defense, allowing teams to shoot a whopping 42 percent against them. Not surprisingly, the Sixers are 1-15 when their opponent shoots 40 percent or better from 3-point range.
Stefanski made a desperate move when he signed 34-year-old Allen Iverson for the rest of the season. Iverson is no longer the player he was in his first stint with the Sixers when he led them to the NBA finals in 2001. His arrival took away valuable minutes from rookie point guard Jrue Holiday. With the Sixers looking at the lottery, playing players who can help years down the road instead of veterans who have seen better days should be the team's first priority.
Jordan, who spoke before Stefanski met with reporters, knows Iverson is an aging defensive liability.
"It's no secret, we all know Allen's not a heck of a defensive player," Jordan said. "But he's very smart. He can talk through things, he gets through screens. It's a problem when a big guard posts him up or drives on him. It's a problem. Hopefully we have enough help to help him."
Iverson's a temporary fix and about the least of their problems this season. They still struggle from long range and on defense, and Jordan's erratic rotation has caused some players to grumble in the locker room.
Jordan might be running out of time to get the Sixers turned around.
"We're not getting the job done and we're going to have to get it done," Stefanski said.