SACRAMENTO - Sixers coach Eddie Jordan became obsessed with the Princeton offense when he and legendary Princeton coach Pete Carril were assistants together in Sacramento.
Jordan, who coached the Kings from 1996-98, took the offense with him when he eventually became coach of the Washington Wizards in 2003.
He now is implementing it with the Sixers.
Things haven't gone too smoothly with the new offense yet, and Carril thinks he knows what the main problem is.
"When he was with New Jersey with it [as an assistant coach], they went to the Finals 2 years in a row [2002 and 2003], because he had an exquisite passer on the team [in Jason Kidd]," said Carril, still a Kings assistant. "I think if they had a bona fide point guard on that team, they'd be a heck of a team. A true point guard would get things started. The thing about that offense is, if you start off slowly, the next thing you do is going to be harder, then next thing is going to be harder yet, and then you wind up taking a bad shot or throwing the ball away.
"It's really a nice team, but what I really think what he might need is a point guard."
Jordan said before the season that the offense didn't really need a true point guard, that it was really a two-guard offense. Maybe he was saying that only because his roster was devoid of one.
Carril was quick to point out he was not slighting Lou Williams, whom Jordan anointed his point guard in the summer when the team decided not to re-sign Andre Miller.
"He a great player, but I think more of a slasher, a scorer," Carril said. "He can become a point guard in that system, but it's very hard. Believe it or not, I think that the guy who can do it is Allen Iverson. I don't know if he wants to do it, but he's a great passer. What he does for [Sam] Dalembert . . . Take a look at the box score and when Iverson's in the game; Dalembert's in double figures. When Iverson's not in the game, his numbers go down.
"Iverson was always a great passer. He did what he thought he had to do to [in years past] and that was shoot. Right or wrong, that's what he did and sometimes had to do. But he is a great, great passer. A point guard will work it so that a team will get a better shot than what they're getting now."
Gotta love Philly guys
There was a news conference Tuesday in Sacramento to announce that president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie had signed a 3-year contract extension. Petrie, a Springfield (Delco) legend, is pretty much the face of the Kings organization, overseeing the team during its heydays of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He is now trying to get the team back into contention after going 17-65 last season. He has hit the Philadelphia area hard the past two drafts to bolster the team, taking Rider's Jason Thompson with the 12th pick in 2008, then getting Chester's Tyreke Evans with the fourth pick this year.
But the reason Petrie makes Philly truly proud is that his new deal, which he negotiated himself, includes a major pay cut. Petrie will earn approximately $4 million this season. But with his new contract, he will make $1.2 million, $1.4 million and $1.5 million over the next 3 years, respectively.
"The money part of this is tangential," he told the Sacramento Bee. "Given the economy, what's happened in the job market everywhere . . . I happen to believe in shared sacrifices."
Evans, who played at America Christian Academy, has been the talk of the league when it comes to rookies.
After playing one season for John Calipari at Memphis, Evans has taken the league well, averaging 20.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He missed his second straight game last night with a sprained right ankle.
"He's a great player as a young kid," Eddie Jordan said. "He's powerful, smart, he's got a knack to doing a lot of things on the floor. He's just a well-rounded player.
"He's a high pick, and the NBA doesn't mostly lie. Especially Geoff Petrie, he knows talent. He was a good pick."
Said Lou Williams: "I think Tyreke is going to be a great player. Obviously, he's done a great job up to this point with this young team, him being a young guy and getting them to a bunch of wins. He'll be one of those players we talk about for years to come."
Still a Sixers fan
Jason Thompson was a standout at Lenape High in Medford, N.J., before going to Rider. He grew up a Sixers fan and still is, except when they play his Kings.
"I wonder how things would have worked out if the Sixers would have drafted me," Thompson said. The Sixers had the 16th pick in 2008, when he went 12th. "I stayed in South Philly this summer, and played and worked out with some of their players."
In his first season, Thompson averaged 11.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing in all 82 games. This season, those numbers are up to 15.3 points and 9.2 rebounds in 31 starts, including 15 points and 11 rebounds last night.
"Things are easier for me this year, because I know what to expect," he said. "The road trips that were so hard last year are easier, because I know what to expect. I know how to take care of my body. All is good." *