The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to hire Eddie Jordan as an assistant coach, a hire that means a lot to Kobe Bryant. You see, Jordan learned the “Princeton Offense” from his creator, Pete Carrill when they coached together with the Sacramento Kings.
Why does this interest Bryant so much? Because it is an offense dependent on sharing the basketball, moving with the ball, meaning Bryant can get some relief from the defenses that run two and three defenders at him nightly. Indeed, Bryant has been able to conquer any defense thrown at him in his brilliant career. But who wouldn’t like a little relief?
This offense, which Lakers head coach Mike Brown and Jordan went over with the Olympic team in Las Vegas earlier this month, and Bryant was sold.
At 33 years old, Bryant, playing on the London Olympic team, still is young enough to be dominant, but he has played a lot of minutes over the years. An offense that allows him to work less would be ideal at this point in his journey.
“It’s a great offense,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. “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.”
Throw point guard Steve Nash into the mix – one of the most cunning passers of his generation – and Bryant gushes with optimism about what the Lakers can do with the ball.
“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,” Bryant said. “Steve is going to make it easier for Pau (Gasol), 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.”
And it’s in Bryant’s wheelhouse, too.