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Coaching candidate profile: Brian Shaw

6a00d8341c506253ef01538e76cf50970b-320wiBelow is the first post in a series focusing on the Lakers' coaching candidates to replace Phil Jackson.

Candidate: Brian Shaw

Coaching background: The Lakers had strongly encouraged Shaw to get into coaching, allowing him to join meetings during his time with the Lakers from 1999-2003 where he'd learn how the coaching staff put its scouting reports together. But instead of immediately joining the coaching ranks after retiring in 2003, Shaw told The Times in January that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson told him to spend a year scouting the team's coastal opponents. Jackson required that out of Shaw because of his concern that he remained too closely connected with the players on the current roster and they may not give him the respect he deserves.  

After a year of scouting, Shaw joined the Lakers' coaching staff in 2005 as an assistant for five seasons. Part of his responsibilities in the 2010-2011 season entailed putting together game preparations for contests against the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls where he compiled a 14-6 record. 

Pros: The Lakers are inevitably going to go through a transition period without Jackson. But Shaw's presence helps minimize that because of his familiarity with both the personnel and the triangle. Those arguing that Shaw's lack of head coaching experience will hurt him should be comforted to know that doesn't really provide a definitive indicator on their success. Consider Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau guided the Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals and won the 2011 NBA Coach of the Year in only one season after spending his 21-year coaching career as an assistant. Thunder Coach Scott Brooks had only been an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City before taking over the Thunder on an interim basis following P.J. Carlesimo's firing on Nov. 21, 2008. But Brooks immediately helped guide the Thunder to two consecutive playoff appearances. One only has to harken to Jackson and Pat Riley's coaching career to see that they only needed an opportunity to show their lack of head coaching experience meant nothing.

Sure, there is past history that shows Jackson's assistants haven't succeeded as head coaches. Frank Hamblen went 23-42 with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1991-92 season as an interim coach after Del Harris stepped down, and then 10-29 with the Lakers in the 2004-05 season as an interim coach after Rudy Tomjanovich stepped down. Current Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons coached the Dallas Mavericks to a combined 28-72 record before getting fired 16 games into the 1997-98 season. And former Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis has a 32-112 record through two seasons with the Timberwolves. All of those coaches have noted that their teams didn't have as much talent as Jackson's squads and that they lacked the necessary time to teach and rebuild.

Shaw's situation would be completely different. Though he'd assume a veteran-heavy roster whose championship window will dwindle as each year passed, it's still possible for them to squeeze out a few titles. A restful offseason and motivation from the disappointment surrounding the 2011 playoffs would help push them along. But so would Shaw's presence because of his willingness to openly criticize and confront players. His critiques are never personal and rarely illustrate the mind games that Jackson often enjoyed. Instead, Shaw's shown a capability of being a straight shooter without further antagonizing a player, a quality Kobe Bryant has said on multiple occasions makes players respect him.

Cons: The Times' Mark Heisler, among others, have reported on multiple occasions that the Lakers' willingness to have Shaw interview for other coaching positions, including the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, show that his chances of becoming the Lakers' head coach are decreasing. Heisler has reported that Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Jim Buss hope to bring back Showtime and scrap the triangle offense. Whether or not that concept is realistic since it would require a different roster, it would also require a new voice. If Jackson's 11 championship rings and experience weren't enough to help motivate and get the best out of the Lakers, it's surely valid to question how Shaw would be able to suddenly inspire the team. As much as the aforementioned qualities will help offset any learning curve Shaw goes through as a head coach, there are going to be instances that will test how quickly he can adjust.

For example, Shaw coached the Lakers in an exhibition and allowed the starters to return to the game despite blowing a late-game lead, a decision Jackson strongly questioned. Rotation and Xs and O's type decisions aren't as important as the big-picture preparation, but it will immediately reveal how fully capable Shaw is in being thrown into the fire. Long term, Shaw will become a great head coach after perhaps some initial growing pains. But that's a reality the Lakers have to think long and hard about considering they're not interested in rebuilding. They're interested in reloading. 

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw has received public endorsements from Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Luke Walton to be the next Lakers' head coach. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

 
Comments () | Archives (18)

The comments to this entry are closed.

"Issuing a lesser fine to Noah seems to imply that it's not as egregious to direct that slur toward a fan than an official, making it apparent the NBA worries more about its own employees than the paying customer"

Excellent take Mark. That's comment of the day worthy.

The bottom line is that the slur is used as a generic slur as well as a gay slur. It started off as the latter and has, over time, become the former. Doesn't make it right, but many of the players uttering this in probably every single game, don't intend it as an anti-gay slur.

OCLEZY -Dude...I've been here all season and also on the Heat blog. But I just get a pleasure off of Laker fans. It's like BEATING an OLD WEAZLE, it talks crap all season and can't back it up.... you know like the LAKERHOLICS. Now their MONKY @zz has to pay the PRICE, it only hurts when you tighten up...relax. Just sit back on the couch and ENJOY the KING, as he continue to BEAT the CRAP out those BABY BULL'S. Don't HATE, just APPRECIATE.

Posted by: G.Money | May 23, 2011 at 04:09 PM

Alright then respect if you was here all yr long and not a johnny come lately to the party.But sorry man i have to hate watching them win, no love for the Heat.But its not over yet man,all the Bulls have to do is win tomorrow and its a tie serious.
No gripping here buddy,but if they take it all the way respect will definetely be given.

Go Lakers!

I like Shaw from the Shaw-Shaq redemption days. But my only concern is his ability to control the mamba....Watching and enjoying the heat bulls series I was struck by the performance of King James. The man is playing 48 minutes a game and he is as strong at the end of the game as the beginning. Amazing! We as laker fans should be forever grateful that we don't have to face the heat. If the Heat wins tomorrow's game Hobbit, Mud and PSP will get first class tickets to attend the game in Chicago to sing.

It's (probably) been said elsewhere, but what Kool-Aid are Buss pere and fils drinking if they think Showtime can return? Wrong era, wrong set of players. To do so, they'd really have to rip the team apart (give up Kobe, Pau, and Andrew since none of them can run a break for more than 3 consecutive trips down the court). Ironically, Lamar is about the only guy whose game is still geared for that kind of style. To get all the right pieces to run effectively would be a painful process. It's taken the Knicks how many years to find the balance (and they still can't) and the Suns have faltered more than succeeded searching for the right pieces to fit the formula.

Wrong way to go Dr. and Jimmy B.

Working around what you've got makes the most sense. In terms of a trade, since you can't bring in a fast breaking team without trading away almost all your current assets, the best option is to keep the core intact and make, at most, one trade: to pick up a quicker PG and a more dependable shooter off the bench. That is about the most radical move that should be made. With a wise coaching hire and the current pieces, the Lakers should still be able to compete for a title for the next 2 years.

My vote is either Brian Shaw or an off-radar assistant with wiles, character and respect among players. Someone of the ilk of Mo Cheeks would fit that bill. If not, Shaw.

OKC flaming out big time ...

Man how good is the Mavs?They should call them the come back kids,all yr long we seen this team come back on teams all yr long.I know all the hype is on the Heat,but this team looks like their on a mission.And what i like is their playing with a sense of urgency.
Safe to say that serious is over.Having the team that knock out the playoff go to the championships is only fitting.To be the Champs you've got to beat the Champs.I like them to beat the Heat,and i know they'll be under dogs also.

Go Lakers!

@Tim 4 Show - Thanks for the compliments. I can't understand how the NBA can justify this. It's just bad

After seeing Dallas come back against Oklahoma City tonight, I'm convinced the Mavericks gained a HUGE boost of confidence after sweeping the Lakers. Had the Lakers done their job, Dallas would've still been underachieving in the playoffs.

Excellent game for Dallas - looking like a Dallas-Miami rematch at this point.

Could you imagine a fast break with Fish, Artest, Gasol,Kobe, and Bynum running the floor? Though it would be comical, I fail to see how it would work.

I still have nightmares from the last post-Phil era. I know Mitch and Jim still have visions of Magic running the break, but that time is gone. Unless CP or Deron Williams falls into their laps, why try to fit a round peg into a square hole?

Island Priestess

Howz your day going my fine woman? You think you could get us first class tickets? The PSP do not fly coach.

Thanks
PSP Vice President

mike brown is a excellent canidate . he is a proven winner and very respected among players. except for le gone james he is the reason the cavs were so good. 60 plus wins two seasons in a row, never been done before. with brown we continue to win...LAKESHOW BABY! ALL UP IN g.money!

why do i want to go to Chicago?
is someone paying me?
if so, how much?

i DO sing for a living, so...
i don't necessarily take requests, though. if you heard me sing, you'd know why.

-dum

THE WHITE MAMBA aka DIRK NoMISZki.

MM is right, the Mavs especially Dirk got a big boost of confidence by sweeping our Lakers. Dirk can't miss.

LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Could you imagine a fast break with Fish, Artest, Gasol,Kobe, and Bynum running the floor? Though it would be comical, I fail to see how it would work.

I still have nightmares from the last post-Phil era. I know Mitch and Jim still have visions of Magic running the break, but that time is gone. Unless CP or Deron Williams falls into their laps, why try to fit a round peg into a square hole?

Posted by: Oregonian | May 23, 2011 at 09:44 PM

Lol,that's funny but true.Dunno if they would get cp3 or d-will(either would be great),but it's no doubt they need a pg.Heck many of us have been saying it all year,and phil finally said it.They need speed,Kobe can't cover for fisher anymore.Despite his big plays at times,the wins were in spite of him,and it's a testament to Kobe's greatness.Not bashing fisher or putting all blame on him,actually 4/5 of the starting lineup is slow.At the end of the day though fisher needs to do a luke walton and step down.He should have done it from last year, as should phil.Go out a winner(or in fisher's case come off the bench).As much as people talk about kobe and his pride etc.,fisher,phil,and most of those other lakers aren't to far behind,and lead in some cases.Yet people still wonder why their home in may............

FIRST OF ALL, ME INCLUDED. MOST OF US REALLY DIDN'T THINK OF THE MAVERICKS AS THAT GOOD OF A TEAM, HOWEVER, I WILL BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT. I WAS TRULY VASTLY MISTAKEN. THIS TEAM IS GOING TO GIVE MIAMI A RUN FOR THIER MONEY. NOW BACK TO BASICS. LET'S BE TRUTHFUL AND HONEST. IF THE LAKERS HAD WON OR NOT LOST IN SUCH A DOMINATING FASHION . THERE WOULD BE NO DISCUSSION AS TO WETHER OR NOT BRIAN SHAW SHOULD COACH THE LAKERS. BRIAN SHAW WOULD BE THE LAKERS COACH. THE TREPIDATION OR CAUSIC FEAR STEMS FROM THE WAY THEY WERE DEFEATED AND COACH BRIAN, EVEN THOUGH AN ASSISTANT COACH. HE STILL WAS APART OF THAT DEFEAT. I HONESTLY THI NK ADMINISTRATION OWES HIM THE RESPECT AND TRUST TO HIRE HIM EVEN IF IT'S ONLY A TWO YEAR CON TRACT. LET'S BE HONEST. THERE IS NO PHIL JACKSON'S OUT THERE, BUT YOU STILL HAVE A KOBE AND A FISHER WHO WILL BE VERY HELPFUL TO THE NEW COACH IF HE ALLOWS THEIR INPUT. THE PROBLEM THAT I'VE OBSERVED WHEN OUTSIDERS COME IN IS THE FACT THAT THEY WANT TO SEND A MESSAGE OF WHO'S IN CHARGE AND MANY TIMES THEY RESTRAIN OR CONSTRAIN THOSE ON THE INSIDE WHO COULD HELP BRING ABOUT A GOOD SMOOTH TRANSITION. A COACH WHO COMES IN AND BUMPS HEADS OR OVER LOOK THE LEADERS OF THIS TEAM KOBE OR FISHER. WILL SPELL DOOM. COACH SHAW IS NOT ONLY FAMILIAR WITH THIS TEAM, BUT HAS THEIR RESPECT AND IS A VERY GOOD COMMUNICATOR. HE HAS THE ABILITY TO CORRECT, DISSECT, INJECT OR REJECT AND STILL KEEP THE CONTINUITY OF THE FLOW INTACT. I'M NOT SURE THERE IS ANOTHER COACH OUT THERE WHO HAS ALL THOSE QUALITIES, COMBINED WITH THE FAMILIARITY OF THIS TEAM. IN REGARDS TO SALARY. DR. JACKSON, IF I MAY CALL HIM THAT: EARNED THAT AND ANY NEW COACH SHOULD NOT EXPECT TO GET NEAR THAT AMOUNT EVEN IF THE ECONOMY WAS THE BEST. MR. SHAW HAS PATIENTLY WAITED HIS TURN AND I FEEL OUT OF HONESTY AND RESPECT. HE DESERVES TO GET THAT CHANCE TO PROVE HIS COACHING ABILITIES. SOMETIMES IN DEALING IN HONESTY AND RESPECT. WE MIGHT HAVE TO CHOSE BETWEEN WHAT IS RIGHT OR WHAT SEEMS THE BETTER PLAN. THE BIGGEST THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT WHILE EVERYONE WILL BE WATCHING YOUR DECISIONS, IT'S YOUR ACTIONS THEY WON'T FORGET. ST. MATTHEW 10:26

Island AltarBoy,

re: Our [ psp & hobbitmage ] flight to Chicago. Please make sure the stewardesses are hot. I see no reason to fly to Chicago if I don't have a
hot stewardess.

Shaw would have been the right HC if the Lakers current offense has been good enough to dominate the changes in the league. The Lakers really need to get out of the "triangle offense" and back to a fast break, more athletic type of up tempo game more reminiscent of the old era Showtime Lakers (the real Lakers).

Someone mentioned Mike Brown and I think that he would be a good choice. The Lakers need someone with a little more experience. I like B-Shaw, but I think that he is too green. The Lakers need to keep the triangle offensive. There don't have the roster for showtime. If there had a younger roster, then I would say get rid of it, but there don't.

The Lakers need to upgrade there bench. Get rid of the dead weight, such as Steve Blake, probably Shannon Brown, Ron Artest needs to go as well, the two rookies, Joe Smith, Theo Raliff and Luke Walton. I would keep Matt Barnes. There need a couple of shooters, a younger point guard, have Fish come of the Bench and a decent back up center. This would do it.


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