Kobe And The Lakers Go To Princeton

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Kobe Bryant‘s championship window with the Los Angeles Lakers is closing, but it’s not shut yet. Especially not with Steve Nash coming on board next season.

Nash, whose teams led the league in offensive efficiency for nine straight seasons from 2001-02 to 2009-10, will clearly improve the Lakers’ offense, which ranked 10th in efficiency last season. But L.A. isn’t only counting on a new point guard to get them back into title contention.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes, the Lakers will be switching to the Princeton offense next season and hiring Eddie Jordan as an assistant coach to run it.

Jordan happens to be the foremost Princeton authority in the NBA, the heir to architect Pete Carril, and that’s an immense part of why the Lakers are moving toward an agreement to hire Jordan as an assistant coach. Jordan sold his vision of the offense to a most willing subject, and ultimately Bryant departed for these Olympics convinced that the Lakers have a sound plan of action for the 2012-13 season.

“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.”


The last time we saw Jordan run the Princeton offense, his 2009-10 Sixers had a disastrous season, ranking 20th offensively and winning just 27 games. But the offense has had plenty of success in the past, ranking in the top five in five different seasons with the Kings (under Rick Adelman), Wizards (under Jordan) and Hornets (under Byron Scott). And the Lakers have as much or more offensive talent (as well as the requisite basketball IQ) than any of those teams.

Top five offenses that ran the Princeton

Team Season W L OffRtg RK League Avg. Diff.
Sacramento 2003-04 55 27 107.3 2 100.0 +7.3
Sacramento 2001-02 61 21 106.4 3 101.6 +4.8
Sacramento 2004-05 50 32 107.5 4 103.1 +4.4
New Orleans 2007-08 56 26 109.0 5 104.7 +4.3
Washington 2006-07 41 41 106.7 5 103.7 +2.9

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions

The Princeton is similar to the Triangle in some ways. And it may seem odd that the Lakers are switching to an offense that doesn’t utilize traditional point guard play just as they’re bringing on the best traditional point guard in the league.

But Jason Kidd and Chris Paul have been MVP candidates running the Princeton, and Nash is a better shooter than either of them. Pau Gasol‘s passing skills are also a perfect fit for the Princeton, where the big men are often handling the ball in the (high or low) post.

Teams need time to get used to the Princeton and develop the chemistry needed to run it effectively, so the Lakers’ offense won’t be a well-oiled machine early in the season. But with time, they have a real chance to be top-three offensive team next season.

How Andrew Bynum fits in is maybe the only real question here. And as far as that other center in Orlando, let’s just forget about him until something (other than rumors and talk) actually happens.

62 Comments

  1. Jreed says:

    I’m a Laker fan first of all, But some of you idiots are takin the Princeton offense addition out of context. Listen geniuses, it’s not a offense that will be ran every dam play, shut the f up with the complaining. You really think we aquired Steve Nash just to run Princeton only? You really think were not gonna use his greatest strength at running the pick n roll. Be smarter about what this means. It will be ran here and there, it’s a part of the offense. Who the f said we’ll run it every dam play? It keeps the defense off balance and can be ran at specific times.

  2. Syracuse Heat Miami Orange says:

    What Is Princeton A School i know the school

  3. Kobeng-Burat says:

    Princeton offense……. Triangle offense……….. Who cares… everybody know where the ball’s gonna end up…. Just give the ball to kobe….. It doesn’t matter… He is a natural BallHOG……. People don’t really learn………..

  4. jabie says:

    guys forget D howard i suggest LA should sign birdman he is still in the market we dont need much of the offense we have it already all we need right now is our defense….i agree on getting pietrus aside from a good offensive player he is one of the elite defenders…i hope we can get farmar back…he is good back up PG…quick that can defend at least for a faster PG nowadays….steve is a good pg but in offense only….he is not known with his defense so we need a good back up defensive PG

  5. Bob says:

    lakers acquired antawn jamison, a big man who can shoot the three which is really good when running the princeton offence. it’ll spread the floor for kobe and nash and the princeton offence is good for when teams want to trap on one side. their shooters will get a lot of clean looks, kobe can isolate on the block, and the nash bynum/gasol pick and roll is gonna be lethal. the lakers have multiple weapons on offence and will only benefit with the addition of steve nash and the princeton offence.

  6. Lakers-R-Us says:

    Can’t wait to see Steve Nash and my Lakers! And Antawn Jamison and his impact! Go Lakers! we need a break! Lol!

  7. Will says:

    It’s probably going to be a variation of the Princeton. The Princeton is basically a 4 Out 1 In Offense. Since we clearly have 2 Seven Footers I could see the sets with Pau & Drew playing a High-Low on opposite sides of the paint. Pau is going to be P&R Option 1, Drew will be P&R option 2. Kobe will be running off the screens and I see Bynum setting a lot more screens. I think it’ll actually work.

  8. james says:

    they have full training camps this year im sure they arent stupid enough to not let nash do his thing..im sure theyll figure it out

  9. Ravensbball says:

    Steve Nash doesnt need to turn back the clock, he proved that last year by making the Allstar team – hes still got it in him. Lakers aint gonna win another ring with Kobe around, loving the Doo Doo Brown comment and yes they still need to make some tweaks to contend for the top spot on the West – As I feel Spurs and Thunders are still the better teams in the West.

  10. Bryan says:

    Sacramento, Washington and New Orleans. Wow! Impressive! Bobcats must do this Princeton offense now. They will be part of this list next season. LOL

  11. BC says:

    Why do i see comments saying “this wont work” or “Kobe’s not getting his 6th”
    Did you guys watch the playoffs last season? Lakers didnt look that bad. They were still a top team. Look at it like this…
    All of the positives the Lakers had last year (Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, World Peace) are all returning this year. On top of that there was a MAJOR improvement at PG. Added a bench player (Jamison) who can score (17 ppg last season) and rebound. Still have Jordan Hill off the bench. Still have Steve Blake off the bench who can put up a big shooting game at times (remember the Denver series). I dont see why everyone thinks OKC/Spurs/Clippers would be such a road block. They are good but i see any big improvements in any of the top teams from last year.
    –Someone please explain.

  12. kobi says:

    this will be the epic failed of the year..

  13. Jack says:

    all the experts and fortune tellers are here again,..6 ring for kobe?..he will have to get through other LA then or even at OKC,..fix their offense first then dream to have have that 6 ring for Kobs…

  14. lets go says:

    what is a princeton offense

  15. T DavIs says:

    LA has a full training camp that will allow Artest, Kobe, Pau and Nash to operate where they will be most effective and the style fits their skill set, now with Bynum movement and proactivity are not his strong suit, so a decision will have to be made with him. Now if that happens with Eddie Jordan, then you need to bring in players that fit that offensive/defensive scheme. Second unit with Blake, Jamison, Barnes, McRoberts, Jordan Hill.. not so sure. I like Delfino, Mike Redd, Arenas(had great success in the Princeton system) DeShawn Stevenson for DEFENSE, etc I’d like to see good center or pf that could spell Bynum that can do work.

  16. Jp1mp says:

    Bring back Starbury and Isiah Rider…hahaha

  17. Peter Andre3000 says:

    It dont matter, just get the ball to Kobe!

  18. BOSSDON says:

    Lakers should get Erick Dampier and call it a offseason..

  19. Austine says:

    Princeton offense will work. Remember Jason Kidd? Chris Paul? hell. Even Mike bibby. Ricky Rubio! These are the PG of princeton offense. Where are they now? Jason kidd ang great great PG. even bring the nets in the fiinals. CP3? mvp candidate in new orleans. Mike bibby? Beat the hell out of lakers. Ricky rubio? Well. To early to say. But my point is.. These pg are great in the princeton offense. Nash i a very good 3pt shooter. So i dont have any problem with this. I maybe worried to andrew bynum thought. He might not get the touches he demand in the princeton offense.

  20. mbrownjr says:

    hmmm why all the brown bashing? the man took the team to the play-offs with the worst bench in the league! hmm

  21. Boi says:

    why are you guys hating on brown? he’s a defensive coach, eddie jordan is running the princeton offense anyways

  22. lakermig says:

    stupid offensive choice and although the starting 5 are prob the best starting 5 in the nba on paper we need more bench and 3 point shooters to compete with the spurs let alone OKC and Heat but in my opinon those are pretty much the only teams standing in our way … GO LAKERS !!!

  23. Freddy says:

    Why don’t they go back to the triangle offense :S it worked well for them when Phil was around .Brown isn’t Jackson , i know , but it’s the same group of players !

  24. cesar says:

    yeah princeton is a great offence, if coach adelman handle it….. MIKE BROWN ? no way …

  25. Sam says:

    I personally don’t think Nash made the right move going to LA, just in terms that his and Bryant’s game doesn’t mesh but we will see how it goes. I do know one thing Bynum and Gasol are gonna get some good looks

  26. nazukie says:

    I also agree that: let steve nash do the job.

  27. nazukie says:

    L.A. fans… let’s forget the cry baby dwight howard. Let’s embrace pau gasol and drew bynum…… with the help of nash our team will be a champiopn contender team. Princeton will helpu l.a. go lakers! beat the heat…! we should get leandro to make our line up fast….! xD

    • scott the magician says:

      100% agree, PLUS as i see everyone complaining about the Princeton. Nothing is set in stone, if it doesnt work, they will stop using it!!

  28. jaycee says:

    yeah! absolute disaster men! why should we use princeton???let them play a traditional lakers plays, and let steve nash do his greatness job! agree?

  29. Arcy says:

    This is impossible. Princeton doesnt work with steve nash. remember terry porter coached phoenix suns in 09? they used princeton offense that time which the phoenix didnt make it to the playoffs. this is a disaster!

  30. Liwei Wu says:

    they have to get dwight howard

  31. Ervin says:

    Yes!! Yes!! Coach are right!! Kobe have more that 2 years left! i want to see Kobe to play basketball at age 40< (Sorry bad english)

  32. i think lakers should run traditional offense because they have a traditional point guard that happens to be steve nash

  33. Skater says:

    Let’s go L.A I have a good vibe about them this season if Nash can make No names an make it look like a good team imagine what he can do with a team like the lakers can wait for the season to start!!!!!!!!

  34. lbj says:

    no trade Juwan Howard to Dwight Howard!!!! Miami will be invinsible next year! Bring back Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning!!! Will have a 100 rings :D

  35. bestkillua says:

    can we trade couch brown for coach byron scott instead or get coach sloan( coaching the best duo for pick n roll=mailman and stockton)..i can say half of lakerland thinks our current is a boo boo..

  36. EnriquePC says:

    About if the Lakers can beat the Heat, well i think they can, if you compare Jamison against Lewis, Jamison is a better player in all sense, he can play low post, he can shoot the medium jump shoot, he can shoot the 3pt shoot, the defense for both players are the almost the same but I would give the advantage to Jamison, now in regards of Ray, we need to see how efficient he is next season, I’m not saying that he’s offense will be vanish but it won’t be the same. Also the lakers can’t have Rush because he already signed with the warriors again.

  37. me says:

    and what about the heat you think the lakers will beat the heat next season think not because they too have ray allen and rashard lewis I am not a heat fan but am just saying or okc,spurs,clippers

  38. Lakers get lou Deng says:

    Steve Nash needs athletic people to run and gun with as well as three point shooters. Right now this is a disaster.

  39. rudytjip says:

    I hope Nash can turn back the clock – Nash circa 2006-2007 or even Nash 2010.
    Come to think of it, I wish Kobe and Pau could turn back the clock as well!

    • LATILLIDIE (lakers2011-3peat) says:

      apart from his fg% Kobe was solid bruh…he could’ve won the scoring title if he played the last game of the regular season.

      now pau is more of a concern to me, idk whats up with dude …its like something is a little off, like something in his head is going on ….he just doesnt seem to be there all the way when he’s on the court nowadays

  40. EnriquePC says:

    you are right(Isaac) Brandon Rush is also a good option for the Lakers.

  41. Nick says:

    It makes no sense to bring one of the best point guards in history to your team and then move to an offensive scheme that dilutes the position of point guard! They should have stuck to a traditional pick & roll offense and letting Steve do his work. Kobe and the bigs would have had plenty of ball time as well as a lot of dpuble-teaming pressure alleviated. Unless they use a hybrid Princeton Offense that employs a point guard I believe they are making a huge mistake. It’s like buying a ‘Vette and then turning it into an electric car!

  42. Gerald says:

    How about the Nash offense. Coaches get in the way of great players sometimes with their egos. Give the ball to Nash run high pick and roll with one of the bigs, Kobe and Metta on the wing, Pau or Bynum off the ball on the low block and let great players play. Keep a set or two for crunch time and bench players and keep it moving. Doo Doo Brown will try his best to screw this up.

    • RuKidding says:

      Finally, a voice of reason Gerald! Why bring Nash if not going to play to his strength (Pick & Roll).
      Brown and Buss are idiots! No 6th for Kobe until Lakers get new coach!

      • Pep says:

        100% agree with you… the Lakers need a new coach!

      • FLY-GUY says:

        I guess you guys didn’t see the part of the article that told you ” Both Jason Kidd, and Chris Paul (who plays just like Nash) were MVP candidates runing the Princeton offense

    • Peter Andre3000 says:

      haha – doo doo brown…

  43. EnriquePC says:

    I’m still think that the Lakers has a tough road to get Kobe the 6th Ring, they are now better than Last season but they aren’t quite there yet, they need to do one more step to compete head to head wit Okc. Maybe the Clips and the Spurs could defeat the Lakers on the Playoff, so we still need to see what the other team are planning to do with the reaming Free Agents.

  44. Isaac says:

    They need to sign Brandon Rush. Solid 2 guard and top 5 3pt shooter last season.

  45. ArkannCHO says:

    Kobe is getting his 6th Ring…

  46. StyxRenegade says:

    lol at 7:18 on that last vid

  47. EnriquePC says:

    Well I think that the Lakers has better options than Pietrus, they could add Jodie Meeks or Donte Greene even Martell Webster, those three are better option than Pietrus, there’s also Leandro Barbosa in the Market, on of those four guys will increase the speed of the Lakers and will improve their 3pt shooting and also improve their bench. I’m tired of Dwight Howard’s soap opera, although he could be better option for the Princeton Offense but until that the Lakers need to do whatever they need to with their actual roster.

  48. And1 says:

    And how many NBA championships has employing the Princeton offense bagged? Right.

    • scott the magician says:

      thats what im saying….

      • EnriquePC says:

        It has none, but still is a good offense, but I don’t think that the Lakers has the means to go with that offense, they need big man that can shoot the 3pt shoot, and they don’t have them, at least not solid.

  49. TTKIN says:

    I like that last part. Ignore Dwight Howard until something actually happens, awesome haha

  50. J-Short says:

    Well considering the personnel that we are bringing in like a Steve Nash, we needed a more free flowing offense. And dare I say a few more ahtletic players to go with him. Pending the Bynum for Howard trade, I beleive that we need to make a push if possible for Michael Pietrus, whcih would help fill the void for a back up 2 and small 3 position and would allow us a greatly needed 3 point shooter which helps spread the floor for Nash/Kobe to work. It looks like we are going to keep Pau for now, since his contract is huge and his skill set still applyable to help on the ofensive end. But if we look still slow and stagnate on offense and our bigs cant keep up with nash look for some prior mid-season trade talks picking up again. Also I think we may need to consider keeping Matt Barnes also, unless we can sign anther mid level player for the minimum.

  51. Ralph Fortis says:

    Go La Lakers

  52. EnriquePC says:

    the Princeton offense is quite good when you have guys like Pau and Steve and the same core of players, but if you get confused while you are running you might get a grease defend, I just hope that they can accomplish at 80 or 85% that will help the Lakers to improves their offensive efficiency.