Former Lakers assistant coach and current University of Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan reflected on the 2012-13 season today. Jordan was hired by former head coach Mike Brown in an effort to instill the principles of the Princeton offense, but once Mike D’Antoni was hired, Jordan’s system wasn’t used.
The former Washington Wizards head coach spoke to Michael Lee of the Washington Post about the tumultuous season:
“Mike Brown hired me. He was awesome. Mike D’Antoni was gracious enough to keep me there and I really appreciate both those guys hiring me and retaining me. Bernie Bickerstaff and I were reassigned to the back of the bench and we were okay.”
It was evident that after D’Antoni was hired, Jordan would take a backseat as he was reassigned to the second row of coaches. The Princeton offense wasn’t designed for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, mostly for former center Andrew Bynum and forward Pau Gasol.
Now Jordan is at Rutgers, his alma matter, hoping to turn the program around after the embarrassment of former head coach Mike Rice. Rice was fired after video surfaced of him throwing basketball’s at players and yelling profusely at his team during practice.
Still, Jordan believed that there were several variables that contributed to the Lakers lost season:
“It was a season of injuries, non-chemistry, getting to know each other as the season went along. Clashes of personalities and approaches and then it was more injuries. The injury factor and chemistry kept it dysfunctional to where you couldn’t have great success.”
In the time that the Lakers used Jordan’s system, the team went winless in the pre-season and started the year 1-4 before Brown was fired. With Nash and Howard, everyone figured the two would work in harmony as the Lakers would implore a faster tempo.
However, Jordan’s time with the Lakers was short and he says that the experience soured his interest in returning to the NBA. Jordan heads to a Rutgers program in the midst of transitioning to the Big Ten as he hopes to revive a struggling program.