Tag: Bernie Bickerstaff

eddie jordan

Lakers to officially hire Eddie Jordan, let the Princeton experiment begin


We told you a while back that the Lakers were talking to and moving to hire former Wizards and 76ers coach Eddie Jordan.

Now that is very close to reality, and they are bringing in veteran NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff and former Magic coach Steve Clifford in what is a total overhaul of the assistant coaching ranks, reports Kevin Ding at the Orange County Register.

Usually assistant coach hires are not overly fascinating in the NBA, but in this case Jordan is coming to usher in a Princeton offense era for the Lakers that promises to be interesting.

The Princeton offense makes a lot of sense for Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol — its principles are not radically different from the triangle offence. The Princeton offense is really a series of three-man and two-man offenses on one side of the court, with constant motion and cuts off the ball. The idea is always to keep floor spacing through movement.

The Princeton offense wants a center that can both score in the post, is a deft passer and is a threat to knock down a 16-foot jumper from the elbow. That describes Pau Gasol perfectly. Kobe could work off cuts and curls to get catch-and-shoot looks that will be more reminiscent of what he got out of the triangle, the offense Kobe won five rings running.

But where do Steve Nash and Dwight Howard fit in? Those two are a natural and deadly pick-and-roll combination, and Nash’s shooting is a needed part of the Princeton offense. But the fits are not as natural.

Will the Lakers run a hybrid Princeton? Use it some trips down and not others? Run pick-and-roll and up-tempo offense early in the clock and settle into a Princeton set (which Phil Jackson had the Lakers do for a couple years with the triangle)?

Lots of questions and some interesting potential answers. How the Lakers evolve this season will be something to watch. They have the pieces to be a contender, but they have to fit them all together now.

Report: Bickerstaff to interview with Timberwolves Friday

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No real shock here, this was expected, but we pass along the news anyway.

Bernie Bickerstaff will be formally interviewing for the Minnesota Timberwolves vacant head coaching job on Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

Bickerstaff, who is currently an assistant in Portland, has spent 13 seasons as head coach in the NBA with stops in Seattle, Denver, Washington and Charlotte. He has a career 415-517 record.

Bickerstaff’s son J.B. had been on the Timberwolves staff last season — one of the reasons Bernie was first brought in according to reports, the father would take the job while grooming his son to take over. But J.B. bolted and joined Kevin McHale’s staff in Houston.

Already Terry Porter and Mike Woodson have interviewed for the job, and Don Nelson has expressed interest and had phone conversations with team GM David Kahn.

Timberwolves may still interview Bickerstaff

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are off to a fast start with interviews — Terry Porter and Mike Woodson have sat down with Wolves management, Don Nelson has spoke to them on the phone and likely will get an interview.

But don’t count out Bernie Bickerstaff, tweets beat writer Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

Expect Timberwolves still to interview Portland assistant Bernie Bickerstaff, even though his son J.B. has joined Kevin McHale in Houston

The younger Bickerstaff had been a Wolves assistant and the plan had been to bring in 67-year-old Bernie to both coach for a couple years and groom his son to take over the big chair after him. Then J.B. bolted to Houston.

The age thing does not seem to concern the Wolves too much, Nelson is 71 and in the running.

Expect the Wolves to take their time with this decision — because of the lockout there is only so much the coach can do right now anyway. A staff can be assembled and plans made, but since players cannot be contacted there are limits on how much work can get done.