It has been 18 seasons since the Washington Wizards hired Eddie Jordan in 2003. Jordan spent five seasons in Washington, and during his tenure, he coached both Brendan Haywood and Ethan Thomas, which neither could get along.
In November 2020, Jordan was a guest on Thomas’s podcast ‘The Rematch With Ethan Thomas.’ During the episode, they talked about their time in Washington D.C.
Jordan mentioned that ” Jared [Jeffries] and Brendan [Haywood] were different. They used to say the big three and the little two,” said Jordan.
When sound bites started to make the rounds, Haywood was notified and took to Twitter to respond.
“I see a lot of cap in this podcast; I should have them both on my podcast so we can get the real deal. It would be entertaining for sure,” said Haywood.
Later that night Haywood, went into more details from his perspective on Instagram Live.
“I am here minding my own business, and my boy hits me with a podcast, and it Eddie Jordan and Etan Thomas on that joint. Eddie is like Brendan [Haywood] been setting them hard screen in practice wouldn’t set them in the game,” said Haywood.
“I was like they really tried me, I was like okay. You know what? I think we should try to have Eddie Jordan or Etan Thomas on our podcast. I think it would be our best one yet because I would keep it 100 to their face.”
Haywood would later add, “It’s weird because he said all this slick stuff on the podcast because I have seen Eddie Jordan three times this year; he lives right around the corner. He teaches Aerobic classes at the Lifetime gym, and he was acting like he was all good.”
On Friday, Thomas was the latest guest on The Opinionated 7-Footers with Haywood and Hollins.
It turns out both Haywood and Thomas were friends at one point. So, what exactly went wrong.
So, according to Thomas, the media was encouraging the rift between the two.
“For me, the years that I wasn’t playing when Doug Collins was there, I was still supportive even though I could not stand Doug Collins and didn’t play at all. It seemed to me when it shifted, and I started playing a little more,” said Thomas.
“For me, that is when our dynamic changed, and it was I want the minute more than you. So, that is what changed it for me, but it wasn’t much physical in practice. Because we were always banging in practice, and this what I saw, the media really hyping it up daily.”
When Brendan was given more minutes the media took notice and went to Thomas to ask him about it
He would reply, “what are you talking about?”
The media would also find where Haywood was sitting on the bench, and they would focus in on his body language and facial expressions, according to Thomas, and that where the disagreement form his standpoint started.
Haywood reply, “that is good that we have these types of talks because for me it was a totally different dynamic.”
“I never felt and sensed any of that—the real reason why probably got into many altercations, noncommunication, poor leadership up-top. So, when that dynamic you were talking about, I did not feel any of that. Because even though you were playing, I was still starting.”
Haywood would continue:
“So, my frustration was never with you. No matter how well I played, I would play the first [quarter] and the third [quarter]. Think about it; sometimes we were finishing games with Michael Ruffin. It was anybody but me, which was my frustration because sometimes you do not have a good game.
So, the same frustration you had with Doug, I had with Eddie. So, when you looked over and saw me mad, I was like, this dude isn’t going to put me in regardless. When you have unspoken tension, you think he is mad at me, but no, I’m mad at Eddie Jordan.”
According to Haywood, he didn’t have any ill will towards Thomas and thought they were cool until the first fight in practice. That’s when things change for both players.
The first fight happened right before the Wizards’ practice. They were scrimmaging, and Thomas felt that Haywood fouled him. Of course, Haywood didn’t think that was the case. Haywood came back aggressively, and according to Haywood, he called Thomas the N-word.
However, Thomas revealed that he was the reason for the first fight.
“The first fight was all my fault. I just lost my grandmother, and I didn’t even want to be there. I was mad at Eric Waters because he was doing the, oh, you have to come. So, I am not happy anyway,” said Thomas.
“So, we are playing, and it is a regular play; I went in and said they fouled me. You said I did not foul you, and I said yes, you did. And I got a strong reaction so, I pushed you, and then you said something to me.”
It was nice to see both Thomas and Haywood finally bury the hatchet after all of these years.