Rutgers Is Making Progress With Lakers’ Jordan, Star-Ledger Says

Rutgers University is getting closer to hiring Los Angeles Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan as its men’s basketball coach to replace Mike Rice, the Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, reported.

Jordan and Rutgers’ officials met the past two days and contractual details are the only obstacles to him being hired, the paper said, citing two unidentified people familiar with the situation. Jordan could be officially introduced as the team’s new coach at the middle of this week, the paper said.

Rice was fired by Rutgers on April 3, a day after video broadcast on ESPN showed the coach pushing players, hurling balls at them and yelling expletive-laden homophobic insults. The scandal also led to the departure of Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, General Counsel John Wolf and assistant basketball coach Jimmy Martelli.

Rutgers spokesman Jason Baum yesterday declined to comment in an e-mail.

Jordan, 58, played point guard for the Scarlet Knights from 1973-77, leaving as the school’s career leader in assists and steals. Jordan was an assistant to Bob Wenzel when Rutgers last visited the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, in 1991.

Jordan secured his first head-coaching role in the National Basketball Association in March 1997 and went 33-64 over two seasons before being fired by the Sacramento Kings.

Following four seasons as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets, Jordan in 2003 took charge of the Washington Wizards and led the team to the playoffs four times before being fired in his sixth season with a 197-224 mark. He spent the 2009-10 season with the Philadelphia 76ers, when they went 27-55, and joined the Lakers in 2012.

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