Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Poll results show Laker fans prefer Brian Shaw as next coach

6a00d8341c506253ef0147e23237c1970b-320wiAt varying moments during the last two years of his playing career, Brian Shaw would hear Lakers assistant Frank Hamblen tell him, "You're going to be a coach someday."

Eventually, Hamblen carried the compliment even further, instructing Shaw to join the Lakers' coaching staff during game-planning meetings to familiarize himself with scouting reports during the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons. Those meetings served as the first mark of a linear and progressing path to where eight years later, Shaw is among the candidates to succeed Phil Jackson as the Lakers coach.

It's uncertain whether he will land that spot. The Times' Broderick Turner reported Shaw will interview for the Golden State Warriors' vacant head coaching position, The Times' Mark Heisler reported via Twitter that the Lakers are also considering former Lakers and Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy, and's Marc Stein and ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reported the Lakers are "very interested" in possibly hiring former Rockets Coach Rick Adelman. Various reports indicate that the Lakers' four-game sweep in the 2011 Western Conference semifinals also hurt Shaw's chances for the simple fact it gives the Lakers' front office more reason to start from scratch and possibly abandon the triangle offense.

But based on the results of an online poll on The Times' Lakers blog, the plurality of voters would prefer Shaw become the Lakers' head coach.  Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Luke Walton also publicly vouched for Shaw during their exit interviews.

"Familiarity," Bryant summed up. "He’s very familiar with all of us and how we like to be coached. He communicates very well. One thing about Brian is he shoots from the hip. He tells you what he expects from you. He’s very clear with you on what your role is on the team. I think that helps him."

6a00d8341c506253ef0147e231ff01970b-320wiWhether that helps him enough to get the Lakers' coaching job remains to be seen, especially because he lacks head-coaching experience. But in a sitdown interview with The Times' Lakers blog that was published in early February, Shaw provided countless anecdotes about how he can help offset that lack of  experience with the foundation he's set as the Lakers' assistant head coach under Jackson for the past six seasons.

Shaw demonstrated his willingness to confront egos as he saw fit, both in his playing career, when he confronted Shaquille O'Neal for picking on Devean George and questioned Kobe Bryant's shot selection, and as an assistant, when he called for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum to play more aggressively and disagreed with Jackson in coaches' meetings.  The way Shaw delivered these anecdotes came in a matter-of-fact tone, illustrating these interactions weren't personally driven and that he didn't see them as that big of a deal.

But for a team that boasts a veteran-heavy roster with plenty of talent and egos, it's telling that the players  still respect Shaw and endorse him despite his lack of experience as a head  coach.

"I support Brian 100%," Fisher said. "It's not my decision to make. If I'm asked for my opinion, I would say I'm comfortable and confident in our ability to help us win. Brian is a winner. He's played as a winner, coached as a winner. That's what he'd bring to the table. Those are more difficult decisions than what I get paid to consider. Those are for Mitch [Kupchak] and Dr. Buss. I'm definitely hopeful Brian will get the opportunity and for whatever reason, if it's not here, that he'll get the opportunity to show people what he's capable of on the sidelines."

So far he's recorded a 14-6 record when he was responsible for producing the scouting report on opponents, including the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls. He's maintained a similar demeanor to Jackson's by exhibiting patience and showing no constraint in confronting players in an even-keeled tone. And he's familiar reinforcing the concepts involving the triangle offense, leading Walton to argue, "If we coach the triangle, I don't see how we go anywhere but Coach Shaw."

But that remains unclear. Kupchak said he hasn't met with Lakers owner Jerry Buss and executive Jim Buss, both of whom in the past have wanted to return to Showtime, emphasizing a fast-paced style that's predicated on having an athletic, quick and young roster. It's unclear whether they'll embrace that level of thinking when the three meet in a "couple of weeks," as Kupchak put it, but the system they want in place will significantly affect their coaching search and how to construct the roster to fit those needs.

Even if Shaw is granted the opportunity, past history shows that Jackson's assistants haven't succeeded as head coaches. 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 compiled a 32-112 record through two seasons with the Timberwolves.

All of those coaches 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 would assume a team under better circumstances with increased talent, presumed continuity and a roster that supports him as the next coach. Whether or not management thinks the same way, Shaw professes he'll be ready.

"If you throw somebody in a river, they sink or swim," Shaw said. "If you can swim in L.A. or somewhere like New York, you can make it anywhere. That's something that I have on my side, and being exposed to all this and being around it, I'll be able to take advantage of."

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Top photo: Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw has acknowledged interest in succeeding Phil Jackson. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times.

Bottom photo:  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 (44)

The comments to this entry are closed.




Agreed, lets run a poll and see. The PSP will bet all his coins and dollars that majority will vote for instapost. Start with mine: +1 for instapost

PSP Intern

Oh and since the blog27 are currently on hiatus, it will be an overwhelming YES FOR INSTAPOST.

PSP Officer

Reason why B-Shaw would work out is because Kobe & Fish will also be assistant coaches on the sidelines.


Wholeheartedly disagree on shaw.. Just what exactly can shaw provide that phil couldn't already? Shaw worked under phil for how many years.. He's just another phil clone like rambis. If the players did in fact tune phil out how will shaw command any more respect?

What lakers need is someone from the outside to shake things up a bit.. Lakers biggest problem was also motivation.. What lakers need now more than anything is not someone from the same old system who's used to running things status quo but someone NEW to come in and light a fire in their belly!

And sorry but this lakerfan doesn't facebook or twitter and never will!

Dude...It doesn't matter who you hire as head coach, the Heat Dynasty is upon us. DEAL WITH IT,the next 5 years.

Guys as an experiment do you want me to require that you have to sign in either through Facebook or Twitter. That might help keep the trolls out

Posted by: Mark Medina

As an experiment, why not give it a shot.
But I think a lot of people like the anonymity.
I guess they could create an anonymous FB or Twit acct. to match their user name here.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained...

MM: If you do go for either facebook or twitter, I would vote for twitter. Twitter is easier/quicker to set up for those that don't have it, and I haven't logged onto facebook for a long time since it became a more cluttered version of myspace. I think twitter's also better suited for using as a login imo.

But if it's the same type of login that other LA Times blogs on other subjects are using, they don't let me log in an comment. I think it might be an issue with mozilla firefox, at least with the anti-ad/spyware add-ons that firefox uses. But I've clicked on stories on the LA Times website that has used an alternate login way to add comments and just can't login with this browser.

Anyways, it's too bad it comes down to this, but I agree that it's better to get moderated even though we all get harmed as a result of a small number of idiots.

- - -

I'm OK with the in-house candidates - as long as they change up the system. I'm also alright with Rick Adelman or even Jerry Sloan. I even think Jeff Van Gundy might be okay, maybe. But please no Dunleavy, no Dunleavy, no Dunleavy!

Funny how Larry Brown isn't even being mentioned at all. No love for Larry 'living out of my suitcase' Brown...


@Tim-4-Show – Congrats on the Friedman.

@Ludwig – Landry or Lombardi…food for thought indeed. I had forgot about that.

@Lakerholic – I see you’re campaigning for Sloan. Remember he said he no longer had the energy necessary to handle the daily grind.

Interesting article about BShaw chances of being the next Laker HC…

The Lakers have not renewed the contracts of their physical therapists and trainers (outside of Gary Vitti). Video and other departments won't be retained through the prospective lockout.

That doesn't mean they won't be rehired but if Shaw was really next in line, charged with the task of furthering the legacy that Jackson had helped create, the team would probably want to surround Brian with the same support staff as Jackson.

Sources have told HOOPSWORLD that Shaw was never approached by the Buss family with word that he would be the successor.

I remember he can't even handle Sasha Vujacic, how do u expect him to handle these spoiled brat players. We need a Coach who is a disciplinarian and a motivator as well, someone the players could respect because he is proven a winner. Maybe Adelman I don't know but he has not won anything as a head coach. Sloan, he command respect by his set standards and coaching philosophies and stuck with one team for 20 years and a Hall of Famer. Coach K is a winner in College and in the Olympics, Kobe has high respects on him. Lastly, Larry Brown is also high personality Coach tho' he has been a failure in the last two stint with Bobcats and Knicks, perhaps his time has already expired. Those the three coaches who have the resume who are not necessarily "Assistant".

Besides, are you guys not tired of the "slowness of the triangle"? Likje what Psycor said PJ is already out, Tex is incapacitated why go for the same system. Did they really implement the triangle in this playoffs game, I saw lateral passing and turnovers, triangle was never effective with brick-shooting.

PS. MM, if the KBros can eliminate thieves on their BSPN blog, why can't we not do that here? Go on Boston Blog, you are required to log in.

The only way Shaw gets a shot is if the FO is unable to move a couple of pieces: Bynum, LO or Pau. There's been valid points made in the media - not from "posters" of course - that in the face of a shortened season, it's probably best to maintain the core and its system rather than trying out something new with said "short season."

"Fans" don't really know anything about basketball. To think that they know more about basketball than Magic Johnson is just “laughable!” They're just subjective fanatics who do the "rah-rah" thing and chose to ignore all of the obvious signs during the so-called "practice season;" the team was in serious trouble. Not that those "signs" were subtle mind you: 2 or 3 three and four + game losing streaks and losing the so-called "statement" games on the road and at home and to inferior teams no less. Well, the list goes on.

I don't care about the last 3 years; like Kobe said: it was a waste of time. This team was paid and expected to bring another championship and they failed. Mitch said the core deserved a shot; well they blew it so now the FO will do what they can to rectify it and play the hand they've been dealt.

Tired is just an excuse. They had the summer to recuperate and down time after practice and games to rest but they chose to pursue side projects that interfered with their job which requires them to work out, practice, play ball, remain in shape and above all else, REST!!

No, it was more important to auction a ring; a rap song titled "Peanut Butter; a reality show; a fragrance; video exercises; Tweets and presidential duties for the Players' Union. Well, now you've got time to really devote yourselves to those endeavors, after all, you're all worried about what happens after "the ball stops bouncing." Hopefully, it will have stopped for most of you.

I don’t think the team needs a coach who “knows how they liked to be coached.” The greatest coach in the NBA underestimated their maturity and he got swept in the 2nd round by a superior opponent barely making it out of the 1st round with inferior ones and I argue that he too knew who they liked to be coached.

No… playtime is over for this team. They need discipline. Kobe stated the team were like little kids when big brother wasn’t around, thus he would kick their @$$ in practice next season. They all need their @$$es kicked next season and that @$$ kicker is Sloan. He’ll bench anyone on that team that doesn’t follow instructions and that includes Bryant as well. Of course the only caveat with Sloan is if L.A. wants and can get D Will on board. Oh well, the drama continues! Like Magic said: BLOW IT UP!

Hell NO!!!!!

To signing in using Twitter or Facebook!!!!

150 Percent against it!!!!!

Ignore the Trolls, that is the best way not to give them any attention!

I like Brian Shaw, but honestly, I think it would be a big mistake to make him the head coach. Assistants to legendary coaches usually have tough times filling their shoes. The exceptions tend to be those who had a very significant strategic role (such as designer and coach of the team's defensive system) and not just an opponent scout and general assistant. Tom Thibodeau is a great example of someone who used his experience as mastermind of Boston's defense to step right in to a head coaching job and succeed.

I'm also thinking of Shaw's chances for success. My advice to Brian is to go for the Warrior job where he can truly run his own show without the microscopic scrutiny and the diva dramas that will surely erupt here if things don't go well early.

Brian...and the Lakers...all need a fresh start.

Why do you include Luke Walton's choice, what was his significant contributions to the Lakers this season?

I never Twitter or Facebook.

I vote for INSTA-POST!!!!!!!!!!


That was an interesting article, thanks for the link.


can you figure something out for those people who dont have FB and/or Twitter? or maybe people who are signing in at work and have those sites blocked! i think it would be unfair of them dont you think?, but the idea is good to keep trolls out, but then again, it wont be fair to other bloggers, such as myself, that sometimes log in at work when we have a slow day! so just keep us in mind if you would please!

MM… I would go for using our twitter usernames and passwords. I also would prefer instant posting versus moderation so long as you go back and delete unacceptable posts when you get the chance. We can always scroll by. Anyway, those are my votes.

hey PSP

+2 for insta-post


Make that +2.

No on Facebook and Twitter... There's an RC for that kind of stuff. Readers & Posters just have to learn how to use the scroll feature and stop being so hypersensitive to "junk" in cyberspace - GET A LIFE! Dang, what is so hard????

Trolls, haters, etc. would be the typical name calling for "fans" with negative opinions about the lakers (especially about Kobe).

I guess it's now "terrorists"?

Posted by: KL_Beast |

I think you misinterpreted how I meant that.

I have no problem with "fans" who criticize the Lakers or certain players and don't consider them trolls.

I think you absolutely must allow both positive and negative opinions in an open forum such as this and that it makes it more interesting to see other perspectives.

By "terrorists", I meant those who go around and use other peoples handles, those who write things using the names of another, those who try to get away with vulgarity, those calling others totally inappropriate names or launching very personal attacks.

If someone wants to criticize Kobe or the Lakers, I really don't care as long as they are respectable to the other posters and don't use offensive language.

Hey I just changed the Sign in Feature. It requires you to sign in through Typepad. Try that and let me know what you think.

wtf is going on

Judging by the lack of comments, it seems like the sign in feature didn't work. It's now on optional. But please try the mechanism and see if this would be a good solution.

LRob --

Can you imagine what the NFL would have looked like in the 60's/70's if Tom Landry had stayed with the Giants... Or Lombardi...Would they have won all those championships in Green Bay if the Giants' brain trust had held on to Vince Lombardi???

yellowfever --

As much as I feel a sense of loyalty to Shaw, I can't help agree with yellowfever. What the Lakers lacked this season was a little "fire" and motivation. How is Brian Shaw going to change that? In fact, why couldn't Shaw motivate the Laker players during the series against the Mavs? If anything, he had a great deal to gain from a successful playoff campaign. Other than Kobe tying MJ's 6th, Shaw had the most to gain from another championship in 2011, so why wasn't he able to get this team motivated against the Mavericks? He was a coach afterall...

That failure doesn't bode well for Shaw.


Personally, I think there were too many distractions. Ron Artest with the ring thing, video and who knows what else, Derek Fisher - President for the NBA union, Shannon getting married or whatever is going on in his life, the unfortunate injury of Matt Barnes, the unfortunate breakup of Pau Gasol and girlfriend (if true) - which I say, Pau, you are an athlete and not a bad catch when you are freshly shaven, move on. Please there is someone for everyone. Lomar and his TV show. I would hope that they don't have these distractions during the season because they couldn't handle it. Pick up D. Will this year and some perimeter shooters. If it doesn't work out, get Dwight without trading anyone. See if Bynum can actually stay healthy for a year. He has all summer to rest this time and no trips out of the country. Actually, don't let him leave L.A. he might tweek his knee again.

Ron Ron, do your thing during the offseason and come back and play like you know how.

Mitch, don't pick up anyone over 27. We have enough old folks on the team.

I wouldn't mind seeing B. Shaw take a run at it. Riles was a rookie coach as was Dunleavy if I'm not mistaken, Lakers have a history of giving younger coaches a shot and Shaw certainly knows his way around the players

There has to be some extreme delusion going on in Lakerville.

How can anybody in their right mind figure that Adelman, Van Gundy, and or Dunleavy could come in and coach the Lakers?

I mean who's running with these major losers.
Was it the Times that generated the rumors when they listed their poll?
Are the Lakers (Kupchak) sending out smoke signals?
What are the Lakers "insiders" doing now that the season is over?
Are they scooping up the Adelman interest?

Getting Adelman to coach the Lakers in this environment is like inviting a mortician to a rave.
Van Gundy? You mean that clown on TV, please.
Dunleavy? Didn't the Lakers already had enough with that loser? Didn't the Clippers?

Obviously, the choice should be Shaw. If for nothing else that the fans can at least expect some kind of new and innovative mojo to the mix. And he's being allowed to interview for the Warriors. What is that? Good enough for the Warriors, I guess.

Not that Shaw is my choice, but you can mix together those three losers mentioned above, and Shaw could still coach circles around them, specially get more out of the players.

The other side, however, could be thinking that Buss and or Kupchak wants to break up the Jackson mindset and bring a different sort of bridle to rein in some discipline and order, i.e. apply some Kobe rules.
But neither Adelman. Dunleavy, and least Van Gundy, have the wherewithal to take on such a task.

I don't do twitter of facebook.
So if anything like that is required to get in, I guess I won't be commenting here.
I don't know what TypeKey or Type Pad is either.

One thing that is different and that has worked in the past with veteran players, is we keep seeing this pattern of proven coaches come in, Phil Jackson his first run with the Lakers, Doc Rivers with the Garnett-era Celtics, Popovich with the Spurs (player's coach), Pat Riley with the Heat, Larry Brown.. with the right amount of personnel they all won titles. The few times that we've seen younger coaches like Byron Scott, Scott Brooks, Mike Dunleavy (showtime Lakers-player's coach), heck, Monty Williams, they have been successful but their teams didn't usually consist of veterans. One thing I vouch for is this current core's vote of confidence for Brian Shaw, which tells me it might actually work. Although for the Lakers' brass there are more "sure" coaches, and more importantly, a different style of basketball going forward.

It doesn't matter really who is the head coach as long we are competing in the likes of Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Mavs, OK Thunder, Memphis and our equals of 'old teams' such as Celtics, Spurs..

We need to have speed, athleticism, easy basket, and little much more....







The lakers were built to pond the ball inside but nuthing else. Top nba teams do that and can put out a team w quickness and speed. The lakers had two centers and a real tall power forward in odum trying to cover the mavs who spread the floor w ther sharp shooters as far as any team in nba history, then brought in a flea in berrera to dart in the middle untouched to the basket..

The first thing that must be addressed is defensive team speed for rotations ..the hornets exposed the lakers defensive slowness as well by merely outquiking them n taking them all off the dribble.

Fish is slow,odum slow, gasol slow, bynum slow,brown slow if checking pt gds.artest is slow.what did phil or mitch expect farmer n sasha made it much least then u cud hide some of the deficiencies on defensive rotations and of course shooting ..

Sorry. My pt is Shaw wont make a difference wo lineup changes..and whoever said Shaw cudent motivate this team during the mavs series so wats he guna do next yr is correct unless thers was the worse starting pt gd in the nba. Guys had carreer nites penetrating and getn anywhere they wanted..that must be addressed regadless who the coach is..

Rick Adleman should be the next Lakers coach.

Jeff van gundy is so funny!!! 1 vote for jeff. Not sure if he's championship material though. :P

Of the entire field of candidates, I would recommend narrowing it down to two: Jerry Sloan and Brian Shaw. The question is whether a squad with some "divas" in it could accept and effectively work with Coach Sloan's disciplinarian style. Kobe expressed some frustration with his teammates recently when he said that as the result of his not being involved in practices this past season his teammates took that as a license to flake off. I don't think Coach Sloan would tolerate that.

On the other hand, Brian Shaw has a lot to recommend him in terms of experience, being intimately familiar with the triangle offense, and having (most) of the players' respect. Also, there is something to be said about continuity. A link to the past reinforces the concept of the "Lakers Tradition," just as was/is the case with the Boston Celtics, the New York Yankees, and the Montreal Canadiens.

On points, however, merely changing jockeys without changing the horses might not be the complete solution.

I think it's clear from the first and second round, as well as throughout the course of this past season, that the Lakers have noticeably aged and have lost more than a step or two. While Shannon Brown is very quick, his basketball IQ is somewhat low, and rather than refining his approach it seems he is content to try to shoot his way out of his slump. Well, isn't that the paradigm of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result? Matt Barnes' noted aggressiveness never seemed to return after his leg injury. Steve Blake has heart and speed but I think that his confidence level has been so low that he has self-sabotaged himself (and thus his teammates). So, the much-vaunted "Killer Bs" could have made all the difference, but for the last half of the season and the playoffs we were effectively playing without a bench (with the exception of Lamar Odom).

In short, changing coaches is necessary with the retirement of Phil Jackson, but---far more importantly---I think that it will be necessary to bring in a point guard with speed and a high basketball IQ; a three-point sharpshooter who consistently performs; and a power forward/center who can compliment Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.


1. What kind of a game do the Lakers want to play going forward? "Curtain #1, Curtain #2...etc."

2. What players are "haveable" who can make that happen, and, make it happen at a championship contention level in the immediate future?

3. THEN select a coach.

There are several good teams in the NBA, and lots of young, athletic players, but those teams aren't the Lakers or the Celtics.

To repeat the cliche, "We play for rings".

Please tell me they are kidding interviewing Rick Adleman and Brian Shaw! Why do they keep giving these retreads all of the coaching jobs? I'm sick of it! When Pat Riley became the Lakers coach he had no experience as a head coach but it didnt stop him from winning 4 championshios with showtime. Phil Jackson was promoted as Doug Collins assistant in 1989, it didnt stop him from succeeding! Six rings in Chi town baby!

No question. B Shaw. You have an aging team and Kobe last 3 years. Continuity.

Check out Phil Jackson talking Lakers playoff's and his relationship with Jeanie Buss.



In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...