Larry Brown Sports- While speaking at his basketball camp recently, Kobe was asked how long it took him to learn the triangle offense when he played for Jackson.
“About 2 days,” he said, via KobeTeam.com. “I studied the triangle offense for years before. Watching the Bulls play. It was very familiar to me. The concept was something that I grasped very quickly. A couple of days.”
Put it this way — J.R. Smith has no idea how Bryant was able to do that.
The Knicks won just 17 games last season, and most of the players on the roster seemed so lost with the triangle offense that Jackson said to “forget about it” at one point.
Now, Kobe is teaching it to his campers.
“It’s a challenging offense to learn.” he said. “The one thing I’ve always heard about kids, about youth basketball, you have to give them the very very basic concepts, that you can’t give them structured offense. I don’t believe that. If you want our kids to be better, to be the best version of themselves, you have to challenge them. Kids, as you guys have proved, yet and yet again this year, will respond to that challenge and exceed expectations. I believe you guys are capable of holding on to those concepts. And when you learn those concepts at an early age, how much better are you going to be when you are older?”
The shame in this is that statement is going to be viewed as braggadocios simply because it's Kobe Bryant. I think that has more to do with the fact that those associated with basketball have built up the 'The Triangle Offense' to some sort holier than thou offensive set. It's almost like Kobe saying that he understood the offense after some film study and a couple days of hands on experience is the basketball equivalent of saying that he learned quantum physics in 48 hours. Hell, Spike Lee produced an entire documentary dedicated to a single basketball concept Yeah, I understand that the 'Triangle Offense' is more complicated then your average offense, but at the end of the day it's still just predicated upon maintaining spacing though the use of a couple of elementary shapes. Kobe Bryant didn't exactly cure cancer or create his own mathematical formula. Just because JR Smith and the rest of the Knicks brain dead roster couldn't begin to process what a triangle looks like doesn't mean the Zen Master created a basketball blueprint that was beyond logical reasoning.
I don't want to take too much away from Phil Jackson, because he is obviously a great coach, and his way of playing the game is obviously pretty successful. However, it wasn't just a certain offensive blueprint that won him 10 championships. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal, and of course, Kobe Bryant can attest to that. There was a lot of talent running the 'Triangle' back in day. It probably isn't going to look as pretty when you have the biggest ball stopper in the league, Carmelo Anthony, and a bunch of borderline NBA talent running it. That doesn't make Kobe and the rest of the players that won while playing it a group of geniuses. It makes the players that can't begin to grasp it not worthy of an NBA contract, and thus a perfect fit on the current Knicks roster. Consider this, the Knicks are so completely void of intelligence that a man who has spent his entire career teaching gave up hope of his 'students' learning after no more than 50 games. Called it quits on maintaining any sort of order and told them to go out and have fun like a bunch of 3rd graders playing in their first organized league. After coaching some of the most talented players in NBA history the state of the Knicks has got to have Phil Jackson on the brink of either a nervous breakdown or alcoholism.