WASHINGTON (AP) _ Doug Collins was fired as coach of the Washington Wizards on Friday, following Michael Jordan out the door in another shake up by owner Abe Pollin.
Collins was Jordan’s hand-picked choice for the Wizards, who failed to make the playoffs in Jordan’s two seasons with the team. The coach had two years remaining on his four-year contract.
``With seven head coaching positions available in the league and with his future here in Washington in doubt, I felt that it was only fair that Doug be given a chance to pursue other interests,″ Pollin said in a statement on the Wizards’ Web site.
Jordan was the Wizards’ president of basketball operations when he hired Collins in April 2001. Jordan then decided to return as a player, putting Collins in the unusual position of coaching the person who hired him. The Wizards went 37-45 both seasons.
Earlier this month, Pollin decided that Jordan, who had retired as a player again, would not be allowed to return to the front office, putting Collins’ future in doubt.