Lakers switching to Princeton offense

Kobe Bryant has been searching for spacing and freedom and flow on offense, for a way to counter defenses bent on sagging and suffocating him on the floor. Even before the Los Angeles Lakers delivered him point guard Steve Nash, Bryant had raised an idea with coach Mike Brown about the possibility of employing a distant cousin to the triangle – the Princeton offense.

So there was Brown and Bryant in a side room in a Las Vegas gymnasium during Team USA’s training camp in early July, listening to Eddie Jordan detail the offense’s intricacies, laying out how Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum would benefit with and without the basketball. Here was an old-school Ivy League blueprint daring to be a solution for the Showtime Lakers’ issues.

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.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

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.

– Reported by John Schuhmann of NBA.com