Ed Tapscott's last game as a head coach had come in 1993 with his daughter's youth league team.
"We won, but she complained about playing time," he said.
Last night, Tapscott won again, this time in his debut with the host Washington Wizards, who beat the Golden State Warriors and newcomer Jamal Crawford, 124-100, to end a five-game losing streak.
And, instead of a complaint from a player, he got a presidential-level compliment.
"Now that we got 'Obama' on the sideline with us, we're going to ride with it," said Wizards forward Caron Butler, who scored a season-high 35 points. "Tap, he's light-skinned, he stands for change, he's got a law degree, he uses big words, and he's new in the district, and he's in control now, so shout out to Obama. We won tonight; he brought a lot of hope."
The humor was a welcome relief in a locker room full of players ticked off that their 1-10 performance to start the season had cost a popular coach his job. Eddie Jordan was fired Monday and replaced by director of player development Tapscott, and the team responded with hustle not seen earlier in the season.
"We just fed off the energy," said forward Antawn Jamison, who had 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Washington improved to 2-10, avoiding the worst 12-game start in team history.
The biggest surprise was Andray Blatche, who had season highs with 25 points and 11 rebounds and matched career highs with five blocks and five steals for the Wizards.
Crawford, traded by the New York Knicks on Friday, had a quiet evening in his first game with the Warriors. He had nine points and seven assists.
Cavaliers 119, Knicks 101: : LeBron James scored 26 points before sitting out the fourth quarter and Cleveland quickly took a charged-up New York crowd out of the game. James' first visit to Madison Square Garden this season came just days after the Knicks made two trades that cleared enough salary cap space for a potential run at him in free agency in summer 2010.
Suns 99, Thunder 98: : Matt Barnes hit a three-pointer with 25.7 seconds left to complete Phoenix's fourth-quarter rally and spoil Scott Brooks' home debut as Oklahoma City's head coach.
Mavericks 109, Pacers 106: : Jason Terry scored 29 points and combined with Jason Kidd to spark a fourth-quarter run that rallied Dallas past visiting Indiana for its fifth straight victory.
Off the court
Knicks-Clippers: : The trade that sent forward Zach Randolph from New York to Los Angeles was completed, though guard Cuttino Mobley still wasn't available to play for the Knicks. The deal was made Friday but was hung up when New York reportedly learned of a heart condition during Mobley's physical. The Knicks waived the physical requirement so the deal could be finalized. New York president Donnie Walsh wouldn't reveal the nature of Mobley's medical condition but said Mobley wouldn't be available right away. Walsh added that he didn't know whether Mobley would ever play for the Knicks. Forward Tim Thomas, acquired along with Mobley, was in uniform and had 16 points against the Cavaliers.
Et cetera: : Bucks center Andrew Bogut will be sidelined up to 10 days after he suffered a bone bruise to his left knee Monday night against the Magic. ... Heat forward Dorell Wright is expected to miss at least three weeks after having surgery to remove debris from his left knee.