The Princeton Review: What Eddie Jordan Would Bring to the Lakers Reviewed by Momizat on . As Phil Jackson sat out back of his laid-back Montana summer retreat during an interview with Andrea Kremer of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel in mid-June, Jacks As Phil Jackson sat out back of his laid-back Montana summer retreat during an interview with Andrea Kremer of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel in mid-June, Jacks Rating:
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The Princeton Review: What Eddie Jordan Would Bring to the Lakers

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As Phil Jackson sat out back of his laid-back Montana summer retreat during an interview with Andrea Kremer of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel in mid-June, Jackson revealed his distaste for the way the game in which he had dominated for so many years as a coach, has evolved:

Watching the NBA–not that easy for me. There’s very little passing offense that goes into the NBA where everything’s done off the dribble, where everything’s a screen-roll to a screen-roll to a screen-roll; so the innovation is very limited in what’s going on.

Similarly, he commented on the team in which he most recently coached–the Los Angeles Lakers–and their offensive troubles as well:

Jim [Buss] saw Andrew as a kid and thought Bynum was going to be a great pick for our team. But in the process he’s wanted to have Andrew to have a bigger and bigger role, and I think he’s hired his coach to have Andrew have a bigger and bigger role. And that kind of disjointed the symmetry of what the Lakers were really about.

Andrew is an All-Star Center, he did a wonderful job. But what happened was it took Pau out of his game and it took the team away from some of their game. They changed the style dramatically.

Obviously, with Andrew Bynum gone, that changes everything. However, under Mike Brown’s offense last season, newly acquired All-Star center Dwight Howard would’ve likely had just as large, or an even larger role than Andrew Bynum.

Fast-forward to early July, and apparently Kobe Bryant–who is perpetually searching for an edge or advantage over his opponents–shared his former coach’s sentiments. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant brought up the idea of implementing a system similar in principle to the triangle offense to head coach Mike Brown: the Princeton offense.

The Princeton got it’s name, not surprisingly, from Princeton University, where Pete Carril implemented and perfected it on his basketball teams.

Anyway, apparently Mike Brown was intrigued, and the two (Bryant and Brown) sat down with former NBA head coach Eddie Jordan in Las Vegas during Team USA’s training camp. Jordan knows the Princeton offense–an offense predicated on constant motion, passing, back-door cuts, and disciplined teamwork–as well as anybody at the professional level.

All of this took place before the Lakers brought in future Hall-of-Fame point guard Steve Nash, but that didn’t dissuade Bryant’s high praise for the complex offense as Kobe told Yahoo! Sports:

It’s a great offense. It’s exactly what we need. It takes us back to being able to play by making reads and reacting to defenses. It takes a great deal of communication, but that’s where we’re at our best: Reading and reacting as opposed to just coming down and calling sets. Calling sets make you vulnerable.

There’s so many threats, so many options, it’s very tough to defend. Against the type of defenses that teams play nowadays, they load up on one side and are constantly coming with help from the weak side. The Princeton offense makes it very, very tough to lock in on one particular player.

From my experience, those types of principles – ball movement, changing sides on the floor, everybody being involved – those are championship principles. That’s championship DNA.

Kobe had one player in mind particularly when it came to this offense–Pau Gasol, as he continued to express his fascination with the Princeton:

Steve is going to make it easier for Pau, because he’s an incredible distributor, but the system is perfect for [Gasol]. His ability to pass the ball, to make plays from the high post–to shoot–is the perfect system for him.

I’m excited for Pau because this is right in his wheelhouse.

Perhaps this is why Kobe continues to declare that Pau Gasol is here to stay as long as the Black Mamba is in a Lakers uniform.

Similarly, Bryant likely realizes that he can no longer keep up with the young superstars of the league on a daily basis, but he believes he can out-think them as he has one of the highest–if not the highestbasketball IQs in the league today.

The Princeton offense, coincidentally, is a slow-developing offense that is used by teams to counter opposing teams that have faster, more athletic players; a similar situation in which these aging Lakers often find themselves in (although the addition of Howard changes that a bit).

Upon Quin Snyder’s departure from the Lakers’ bench as an assistant coach, it appears as though the Lakers are extremely interested in bringing Eddie Jordan aboard as an offensive coordinator of sorts. In all likelihood, Eddie Jordan will be on the sidelines along with Mike Brown come late October, implementing the Princeton offense.

However, with Steve Nash–and now Dwight Howard–set to debut as Lakers this fall, is this the correct offense?

Next: The Princeton Review

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About The Author

Suki is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and an unsigned contributing writer for Lakers Nation. Follow Suki on Twitter @TheRealSuki and Facebook. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Number of Entries : 180
  • Niceone08

    I lOve my Lakers.Love the new guys as well looking forward to yall wining the champion ship this year. Go Kobe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/roberto.coronaramirez1 Roberto Corona Ramirez

    Great post and well put argument for the Princeton offense and the new look Lakers who will be working with it. I have to say Lakers fans are probably as excited for the upcoming season as we have been since Shaq and Kobe joined the team in the 90′s!

    • Suki Thind

      Thanks for the compliment!

  • WHLee

    Sorry, Mike D’Antoni is the solution. Lakers should hire him ASAP. The result will be 3 consecutive NBA championships and Lakers will be unstoppable. While Kobe continue to start but getting more rest, Nash can take the younger boys up and down the court as he did with the Sun in 2004-2005. Think this way, what will Nash + Kobe (instead of Joe Johnson) + Gasol (instead of Marion) + Howard (instead of Stoudemire) + MWP (instead of Quentin Richardson) be like? 

    No Princeton, Mike D’Antoni it is…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1616769187 Nor Muss Estudillo

    Eddie Jordan should be a co-head coach to be more effective. With the same authority as Brown, so as the players given instructions by Jordan does not have to look at Brown for approval.Lets face it these Lakers players does not have the confidence to Brown as they had to Phil Jackson. It does not matter how good Brown is if the players questions or hesitate to act in his ideas the results will not be productive.

  • theghostofjh

    The Princeton Offense is a dumb one to run with this team. This offense require ALL players on a team to be above average passers. That is NOT the Lakers strength. Only Nash & Gasol are above average passers for their position. It also requires a team to have multiple 3-point shooters (guys that can consistently shoot 36+%), because you have to be capable of keeping the defense honest if they attempt to clog the interior lanes for the cutters. The Lakers do not have enough proven 3-point shooters, particularly for the most important unit: the starting five. And lastly, you would be minimizing what makes Nash an unbelievably amazing and unique talent: his ability to create off the dribble, including the pick and roll as the centerpiece that drives and opens up everything else. You have amazing bigs for the pick & roll, and you can even do the 1/2 pick and roll with Nash & Kobe. Howard would be an amazing finisher on ally oops, and Gasol is a great roller, and a pick and pop guy. By the way, I’m a Spurs fan, and shouldn’t be so forthcoming about how to maximize the strengths of your new-found team. So I’ll stop now.

  • J Taylor

    64 Wins. Some nights when the look unstoppable, and some nights when one of the Quatro wins the game for us.

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