Woeful Sixers fire coach
The Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday fired coach Eddie Jordan after one season. Team president and general manager Ed Stefanski announced the move, saying the Sixers took an “unacceptable” step backwards after two straight seasons in the NBA playoffs. Jordan was finished after a woefully underachieving season that had the Sixers near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. He was hired last summer on a three-year deal. The players were unhappy with his system almost from the start and the Sixers struggled to put together any kind of winning streaks. The Sixers finished with a 27-55 win-loss record and missed the playoffs for the first time in three years. The Sixers will look for their fourth coach in three seasons. Jordan, who was fired last season by the Washington Wizards, is owed US$6 million for the two years left on his contract.
Lakers’ coach fined again
Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has been slapped with his second US$35,000 fine in two weeks after suggesting Oklahoma Thunder forward Kevin Durant had been receiving preferential treatment from referees. Jackson, who was fined last week for publicly criticizing game officials after the Lakers’ 100-81 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs, received another for comments made to the media on Tuesday, the NBA said in a release. The 10-time NBA championship coach, who is preparing the Lakers to face Oklahoma tomorrow for the opener of their first-round playoff series, was quoted by local media as saying: “I think a lot of the referees are treating [Durant] like a superstar. He gets to the line easily and often. He’s got the ability to create fouls. That’s a big part of scoring, to get to the foul line.” Jackson drew his first fine this month after criticizing referees for their treatment of Lakers forward Ron Artest, who was whistled for critical fouls during his battle against the San Antonio Spurs.
Clippers fire interim coach
The Los Angeles Clippers have fired interim head coach Kim Hughes. The team said on Thursday on its Web site that Hughes has been dismissed and the search for a new coach is already under way. Hughes took over as interim coach for Mike Dunleavy on Feb. 4 and went 8-25 the rest of the way. The Clippers ended another losing season on Wednesday with a 107-91 victory over the playoff-bound LA Lakers. The Clippers finished with a 29-53 record, missing the playoffs for the 15th time in 17 years. The team said the rest of the coaching staff would stay on. Clippers president Andy Roeser said the season was an overall disappointment and fell short of both the team’s expectations and those of its fans.
Michalek out of playoffs
Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek has been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs because of a torn knee ligament that requires surgery, the NHL team said on Thursday. Czech Michalek, the franchise’s third-leading goal scorer in the regular season, initially injured his left knee in a March 18 game against the Atlanta Thrashers. Although he returned for Ottawa’s last two games of the regular season, Michalek limped off the ice in the second period of Wednesday’s 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening game of their first round Eastern Conference series. “We knew he had issues and a problem,” Senators general manager Bryan Murray was quoted as saying on the team’s official Web site.