Sixers' new coach lays down the law
When last season ended for the 76ers, it did so with inner turmoil that included players' claims of mismanagement. A month later, the team had a new head coach: Eddie Jordan.
When last season ended for the 76ers, it did so with inner turmoil that included players' claims of mismanagement.
A month later, the team had a new head coach: Eddie Jordan.
Yesterday at St. Joseph's University - home of the Sixers' training camp - Jordan began installing his standards for discipline, efficiency, and execution.
"He's very strict on things," guard Lou Williams said. "One of the main things, he stopped the drill and we had to tuck our shirts in, and I think that's the first time we've had a coach that's been so set in his ways.
"And I think the type of team that we are, we're going to need that. We're going to need our coach to be our leader, and it's going to have to transfer to the guys on the court."
The Sixers practiced twice yesterday. The morning session went three hours, and Jordan focused on defense. The night practice was dedicated to the Princeton offense, Jordan's pass-and-cut system.
The team has only one session today; training camp runs through Saturday.
"I've been used to being at a place where I've had five years or six years with a team, and, you know, it flowed a little bit more smoothly because that's the natural progression of being with a team for so long," said Jordan, who coached the Washington Wizards for five-plus seasons until 2008. "So that means I have to stay here for another five or six years, but there were some bumps in the road because it was first-time drills for them."
Seventeen players are at camp - 13 under contract and four free agents. The Sixers can have a maximum of 15 players during the season.
Said Jordan: "It's the first day, people are out of sync, and no one is going to have their rhythm, no one is going to look great."
Power forward Elton Brand said that while not everything went smoothly, especially considering there were so many new drills, everything made sense; there was a reason for each cut, drill, and movement.
"That's the great thing about his philosophy," Brand said. "You know where to be defensively and offensively. . . . One of the things he said was 'repetition brings perfection,' so we're working at it, and he doesn't mind stopping it and throwing around a few F-bombs if it's not working for him."
Injury worries. Brand, who is coming off back-to-back season-ending injuries, said he worried about being hurt again.
"That's how the mind works," said Brand, who tore his Achilles tendon two years ago and had shoulder surgery last season. "It's human nature to think, 'Oh, I don't want to get hurt again.' I try to block that out, but it happens. I'll admit that it's in the back of my head - 'I don't want to get hurt again' - absolutely . . . and I won't."
Brand also showed his atrophied left calf muscle, a result of the Achilles injury. The right calf was noticeably larger. Brand said that when he lifts weights, he does 50 percent more repetitions with the left leg.
Swift hurt. Power forward Stromile Swift, whom the Sixers signed as a free agent Monday, strained his left hamstring during yesterday's morning session. He sat out the night session. Jordan said Swift also would miss today's session and be reevaluated tomorrow.
Teams. During the night session - 75 minutes of offensive principles - Jordan had a first-team lineup of Williams, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Brand, and Samuel Dalembert, and a second-team lineup of Willie Green, Rodney Carney, Jason Kapono, Marreese Speights, and Jason Smith.
Check out Kate Fagan's daily reports and video from training camp at http://www.philly.com/philly/
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