Jordan Takes His Turn at Point Guard
Posted Oct 5 2001 12:00AM
Wizards try using MJ, Alexander, Hamilton at the same time
WILMINGTON, N.C., Oct. 5 (AP) -- Michael Jordan spent time playing point guard Friday night as coach Doug Collins used him alongside Richard Hamilton and Courtney Alexander for the first time during training camp.
But there also will be times when the Wizards will go against convention and use Jordan, Alexander and Hamilton as the primary ballhandlers. Friday night marked the first time they experimented with that alignment in practice.
"They got out and ran. Rip is so fast in the open court, Michael threw it ahead and they just attacked," Collins said. "I told them: 'Whoever's got it, push it, and the other two guys just run.'"
Jordan has played without a natural point guard in the past. With the Chicago Bulls during the late '90s, forward Scottie Pippen was the primary ballhandler in the triangle offense.
But the Wizards will not be running the triangle, and Jordan will find himself in a more conventional offense for the first time in more than a decade.
Collins has indicated that sometimes he will run the offense through Jordan in the low post. Other times, they'll try to push the ball upcourt and try to create transition baskets.
Jordan said he teammates are benefiting from playing alongside him on the court instead of having him watch from the sidelines as he did last season when he was Washington's president of basketball operations.
"You can talk about it, but sometimes they can't comprehend what you're saying," Jordan said. "When I say something to Rip or Courtney and then go out there and illustrate it to them, they can see it as well as put it into comprehension."
Hamilton and Alexander are Washington's two leading scorers returning from last season. Hamilton averaged 18.1 points, while Alexander averaged 17.1 in 27 games after being acquired from Dallas in the Juwan Howard trade.
"They may be the primary options, you never know," Jordan said. "They have shown they can score, and some nights we may have to ride them. Believe me, I don't have a problem stepping aside and letting the young guys carry us. As long as we're successful you won't hear a gripe from me.
"I'm not so star crazed that I have to go out there and take shots away from the young kids. I can sit back and be somewhat of an insurance policy to some degree."