Pollin: Jordan put Wizards on Edge (1 Viewer)

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John Corn

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The Coach / Supporter
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Sep 6, 2003
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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2003/basketball/nba/10/22/pollin.wizards.jordan.ap/index.html

I've always thought of Abe Pollin as one of those meddling owners who couldn't find his butt with both hands but his reasons for getting rid of Michael do make a degree of sense. Abe basically says that there was an "uneasiness" in the Wizard organization. I agree.

I just think on reflection it was a bad situation for Mike to get himself into. [Insert mandatory Laker reference here] A bit like when Magic tried to rescue the 93/94 Laker season as an interim coach. These two guys are just too competitive and hold themselves to standards which are just too high for the young players which they are supposed to develop. Larry Bird is in the same boat but he has had success in a coaching role because he was dealing with an experienced team who knew how to win. I also think Bird is a realist, is patient and can teach.

In 94, Magic started with the four hour practices from day 1 which towards the end of a season probably isn't the right thing to do. Elden Campbell for instance is usually sound asleep even on the floor. Getting him to do wind sprints in April was always going to be a mountain too high to climb.

Now Jordan hired Collins who is a phenomenal X and 0's guy but who is also a perfectionist. Collins tends to unravel mentally the longer he is in a job. He starts screaming a lot and his face develops a constant red hue. Young players looking lost in his beautifully designed sets is not something he can stomach easily.

I don't think Collins has found the right job for his coaching yet. He keeps getting these "develop young talent" jobs like Detroit, Washington and even Chicago. What he really should aim for is to take over an established team and put his X and 0's to good use.

Getting back to this player uneasiness, a player like Kwame Brown is young, unsure and is going to make mistakes. Hundreds of them and the same ones over and over again. Kwame's not a finished product, he's not a started product! Jordan comes across to me as the type of guy who will tell you how to do it right and expect to never have to tell you that again.

My thought is, it gets to a stage that when Kwame has a coach on the floor barking at him (and losing more often in a month than he used to in a season) and a coach off the floor barking at him, the knowledge and teaching they give him become outweighed by the negative hit they are inflicting on his confidence. On a basketball floor, it's all about acting instinctively based on thousands of hours of practice. If people are yelling at you, you start thinking about it which leads to more yelling etc. It also leads to fans thinking "Hey he looks lost out there".

I think in the long run Jordan will realise the sacking was for the best even it did damage his ego.
 
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