2001-2008 New Jersey Nets
Head Coaches: Byron Scott, Lawrence Frank
Again, as in previous stops, Kidd’s ability to push the ball in transition and find cutters for easy baskets was made a primary focus of the Nets’ offensive attack. Almost instantly, the Jason Kidd to Kenyon Martin lob pairing became one of the most feared twosomes in the league. It was the original Lob City.
But it was the Nets’ halfcourt offense that garners the most interest in this regard. With the influences of then-assistant coach Eddie Jordan, Byron Scott elected to install the Princeton offense. This offense, which focuses heavily on ball movement, spacing and a series of read and react cutting took advantage unselfish nature of this team and allowed the Nets, who lacked a true go-to scorer, to flourish.
Things shifted a bit when Byron Scott was fired and Kenyon Martin left, making way for the Nets to acquire Vince Carter. Adding Carter to the mix, the Nets went away from the Princeton a bit, in favor for more traditional NBA sets. It was during this time that Kidd truly got his first taste of being an “off the ball” player, as the Nets would allow Carter to operate as the primary ball handler, involving him in pick and rolls and letting Kidd be a floor spacer.
Percent chance of being installed: 25%
As stated earlier, Eddie Jordan was the true brains behind this offense, and he said at a coach’s clinic yesterday that Kidd loves the offense, and that he thinks Kidd will run a fair amount of it in Brooklyn. Kidd even coined some terms within the Princeton offense that Jordan still uses.
With that said, I just don’t think it suits the modern NBA well anymore. Remember: the Los Angeles Lakers hired Jordan as an assistant at this start of this season with the intention of using the Princeton offense, before bailing on it a few games into the season.
But as unlikely as I think it is that Kidd installs the Princeton offense in its whole, I do think you will see some of the influences from this period of career being adopted into Kidd’s permanent philosophy. Like the Triangle, the Princeton offense isn’t so much a series of plays as it is a set of guidelines and ideas, and the spacing and ball sharing principles that the Princeton uses are elements of offense that any good system will incorporate.