By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Dec. 2 -- For the first time since 1999, the Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets played a game and Eddie Jordan wasn't associated with either team.
When the Wizards fired Jordan last week, Nets Coach Lawrence Frank became the longest-tenured coach in the Eastern Conference after replacing Byron Scott in January 2004. Frank, also a former Nets assistant, worked with Jordan under Scott for three seasons and was upset to see his former colleague dismissed.
"I thought the guys were playing their tails off for Eddie Jordan," Frank said. "I think Eddie Jordan is one of the finest coaches in this league. That has nothing to do with Ed Tapscott. It's just in terms of the job Eddie Jordan did in D.C. and when you compare it with what was in D.C. prior."
Frank said it was strange looking over and not seeing Jordan coaching the Wizards.
"I just feel horrible," Frank said. "It's always hard to see a friend let go. The only silver lining is that . . . he'll be coaching again next year."
No current Nets player was with the team when Jordan last coached there in 2003.
· HOPE IN TIGHT GAMES: Seven of the Wizards' 12 losses this season were by eight points or less. "I'd much rather have a chance," Tapscott said. "I'd much rather be in games and say 'Okay, there is something we're not doing, let's search for it.' I'd much rather see us contest, compete, fight right down to the last possession, and if you don't get it, you got something to go forward with. If you couldn't compete, that's difficult to manage."
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