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Category: Brian Shaw

What if Brian Shaw became the Lakers' head coach?

The date of July 13 marks a definitive time in Brian Shaw's life. It's the moment he accepted an offer to become the Indiana Pacers' associate coach under Frank Vogel. The date also marks when Shaw immediately stopped harboring frustration over the Lakers' failure to immediately communicate with him that he wouldn't succeed Phil Jackson as coach.

So as he moved out of his Manhattan Beach residence and relocated his family, Shaw says he's hardly replayed the what-if scenarios. But Lakers fans surely have wondered what would have happened had he been hired instead of Mike Brown.

Many wonder if he would've succeeded Jackson had the Lakers avoided a four-game sweep to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. With the Lakers (10-8) in the midst of a three-game losing streak, they wonder if the purple and gold would've gone through similar adversity.  Below are five things I envisioned happening had Shaw stayed on board.

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Shaquille O'Neal doubts Kobe Bryant will listen to Mike Brown

Kobe Bryant/Shaquille O'Neal

Aside from his four NBA rings, post dominance and questions about his work ethic, Shaquille O'Neal's legacy also will include his strong track record in trashing former teammates.

The top target has been and will always remain Kobe Bryant. But in excerpts leaking out from his book "Shaq Uncut: My Story," it appears the work he did with respected hoops writer Jackie MacMullan also throws some barbs at LeBron James. Aside from James' disappearing playoff act in 2010, O'Neal also notices how former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown remained hesitant in pointing out James' defensive shortcomings. So much that Delonte West called out Brown about it after glossing over some of those shortcuts in a film session. No word, though, on whether Brown held back on O'Neal's own poor defense, but that's a topic for another day. 

"Our coach, Mike Brown, was a nice guy, but he had to live on edge because nobody was supposed to be confrontational with LeBron," O’Neal wrote, as reported by Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy. "Nobody wanted him to leave Cleveland, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to do."

This raises more questions about how Brown will handle Bryant. He remains forever competitive, but even former coach Phil Jackson struggled in maintaining a balance between giving the superstar space and reining him in when he broke away from team concepts. Of course, O'Neal noticed the difference between how Brown might coach Bryant compared to former Lakers assistant Brian Shaw, who was passed up for the job.

"I’m not sure if Kobe is going to listen to Mike Brown," O'Neal wrote. "LeBron never really did. Here’s what we do know: Kobe will definitely be in charge.... "

In another passage, O'Neal wrote: "Somehow Kobe and I made it through the rest of the [2003-04 season] without any major issues. BShaw managed to get us back on track. It’s kind of funny when you think about it. All of these supposed Lakers leaders who care so much about the franchise, all these Lakers legends, none of them ever had the courage to say anything to Kobe and me. Not Kareem, not Magic, not Mitch Kupchak, none of them. Only Brian Shaw took us on. Yet when the Lakers job came up in 2011 they didn’t give Brian Shaw a chance by looking right past him. Go figure."


Shaquille O'Neal book details mistrust with Kobe Bryant

Shaq answers Kobe Bryant: 'I don’t need to work out'

Kobe Bryant criticizes Shaquille O'Neal's work ethic again

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant, left, and Shaquille O'Neal share a Lakers bench but little else in May 2004. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

Kobe Bryant, Brian Shaw and Ronnie Lester have communication issues with Lakers' front office


They have had different roles and histories with the Lakers organization, but there's a common thread that's tied Kobe Bryant, Brian Shaw and Ronnie Lester together.

The commonality goes beyond the 13 combined NBA championships they won with the Lakers. It points recently to their frustration over the front office's apparent lack of communication over important issues. The examples prove to be wide-ranging.

Bryant reportedly has been upset that management apparently didn't consult him and give him a heads-up about the hiring of Mike Brown as coach. Shaw, formerly the top assistant on Phil Jackson's staff, wishes he'd been told directly by the team that he wasn't getting the head coaching job, instead of learning of it through media outlets. And Lester, a former assistant general manager for the Lakers, feels offended that they provided little information on the 20 or so Lakers staffers, including himself, who were let go after their contracts expired June 30 and the NBA imposed a lockout.

The circumstances are different, but these examples involving Bryant, Shaw and Lester reveal that some of their misgivings could've been minimized with a simple phone call and more respect. Below is a more detailed look at all three situations. 

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Brian Shaw criticizes how Lakers handled coaching hire


*We will have a chat at 4 p.m. Bring your questions!

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk to former Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who shared that he found out through the media that the Lakers had hired Mike Brown as head coach, and that he was never given any direct feedback on how he could improve as a coach.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights Kobe Bryant's participation in an exhibition game in the Philippines.

--Ball Don't Lie's Eric Freeman isn't surprised Bryant's popularity has dropped. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's Dexter Fishmore muses that LeBron James won't be able to light up the Lakers on Christmas Day this year.  

--Lake Show Life's Chris Shellcroft criticizes Jim Buss' communication skills.

Tweet of the Day: "Told that due to soccer match fixing allegations, Besiktas' bank accounts are frozen, preventing Deron Williams' team from signing players." -- DraftExpress (NBA Draft Express' Jonathan Givony

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "The Lakers certainly have all the chips in place needed to run for another Championship. What makes it interesting though, is how the pieces will work together, will they have the chemistry needed when it is needed? Will they be cohesive as a unit in the later goings of the season?It is imperative that Coach Brown mobilize this team and its attributes as meticulously as possible to ensure the pieces fitting together and complementing executions."

"The Lakers have everything to gain by utilizing [their] veterans as fittingly as they can. Again Coach Brown has to be cognizant as to who runs the point and in what stage of the game he'll use people.The only unknown factor in the equation so far that's an unknown is egos. If guys can be made to be accountable as Coach has preached times before, then the Lakers [have] another winning season on their hands." -- Andrew Bliss Cain

 --Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Former Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, shown during a 2010 exhibition game in which he took over head coaching duties because Phil Jackson was ill, discusses strategy with point guard Derek Fisher during the Oct. 23, 2010 exhibition against the Golden State Warriors. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press / October 23, 2010

Lakers Q&A: Chuck Person says Lakers will be held more accountable in executing similar defensive scheme

6a00d8341c506253ef0148c81784d0970c-800wiThis is the first post  in an occasional series of Q&As with a member of Mike Brown's coaching staff. Below is an email exchange with Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person, facilitated through the Lakers' media relations staff. 

During your interview with Coach Brown, what points did you emphasize to him and what questions did he want to know from you?

"The hiring was pretty much immediate because of the relationship I had with Mike working with him in Indiana under Rick Carlisle. He asked me if I wanted to be here and I told him yes because I like the Lakers organization, what this team’s about and what type of players we have moving forward to try to win a championship again in the future."

What was your overall approach to the interview in terms of selling yourself?

"It wasn’t a matter of me selling myself because our philosophies are similar both offensively and defensively. I know what Mike Brown’s approach is to game planning and implementing his system because of his days in San Antonio. Then we worked together in Indiana, so I am familiar with his approach and I can continue to carry those things on while working for him."

What responsibilities has Brown assigned to you? This can range from any opponents he’s put you in charge of scouting or certain team responsibilities. What’s your overall philosophy on those areas you’re going to oversee?

"It will be different from what Phil [Jackson] had us do. Phil gave us each certain teams to scout, where Mike has us each learn the entire league. Our scouting responsibilities will be on a game-by-game basis, we’ll just rotate it that way. In terms of personal assignments, we are just going to coach the team. All coaches are required to know both sides of the ball; obviously we have our different strengths we bring to the table. My strength is on the defensive side of the ball. The system we are going to implement will be similar to last season because it’s a system I learned from Mike Brown. So there won’t be much change in the defensive philosophy."

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Kurt Rambis, Brian Shaw prime examples of unpredictable coaching profession

26677076Kurt Rambis left Phil Jackson's coaching staff on the Lakers concerned that sticking around would deny him possible coaching opportunities. Brian Shaw stayed with the Lakers believing his patience would pay off.

Each approach seemed sensible at the time, well thought-out and mindful of the unpredictable coaching field. But their plan didn't turn out as hoped.

When Rambis accepted a four-year deal two years ago to coach the Minnesota Timberwolves, he knew he was inheriting a young team whose roster averaged about four years of NBA experience and finished 24-58 in the 2008-09 season. But he believed assurances from the Timberwolves' front office that his four-year deal would grant him enough patience during the rebuilding process. Instead, as reported by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears, Minnesota General Manager David Kahn plans to either fire Rambis or reassign him within the front office because of dissatisfaction over the Timberwolves' 32-132 record under his watch, including a league-worst 17-65 in the 2010-2011 season.

When Shaw stayed on as the Lakers' assistant for the past seven seasons and six under Jackson, there was always a hope he could land the head coaching spot whenever Jackson ultimately retired. Shaw certainly recognized that mantle would never automatically be handed to him, but he believed he'd able to prove himself even though he lacked head coaching experience. But despite receiving public support from Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, Shaw was passed over for the coaching spot in favor of Mike Brown, and settled for an assistant coaching spot with the Indiana Pacers.  

It's only human nature that Shaw and Rambis might be wondering what would have happened had they chosen a different path. Would Shaw have done a better job than Byron Scott coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers, which finished with an Eastern Conference worst 19-63 record? Would Rambis have had better support and fared better with the likes of the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers, teams that also interviewed him for their respective head-coaching vacancies?

Welcome to the coaching profession, where openings come up unexpectedly, candidates have to be positioned in the right place at the right time and their fortunes are as fleeting as winning at a blackjack table. 

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[Updated] Brian Shaw in talks to become Indiana Pacers' associate head coach

It apparently didn't take long for Brian Shaw to find another job.

The former Lakers assistant coach has interviewed to become an associate head coach with the Indiana Pacers, though he hasn't reached a deal, according to several NBA officials with knowledge of the situation.

Shaw, 45, interviewed with Pacers President Larry Bird this week and would be the right-hand man for Coach Frank Vogel. Vogel was the Pacers' interim coach for part of last season and Bird has said Vogel is the frontrunner to be head coach for next season. 

Assuming Vogel is named head coach, Shaw hopes to reach an agreement to be his assistant, an NBA official said.

Shaw interviewed with the Lakers last month as part of the team's search for a replacement for Phil Jackson but did not get that job.

Shaw interviewed with Indiana in 2007 for the Pacers' head coaching position but did not get that job either.

-- Broderick Turner

Caught in the Web: Ettore Messina reportedly joining Mike Brown's coaching staff

--The Times' Bill Plaschke argues the Lakers should've treated Brian Shaw with more respect.

--The Times' Chris Dufresne explains how the Lakers' disappointing season served as just one example of a mediocre year for L.A. sports. 

--ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher and Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus report Ettore Messina has agreed to join Mike Brown's coaching staff.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andrew Kamenetzky analyzes the Lakers' poor outside shooting and considers it a highly important area to improve.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky argues the Lakers need better point guard production.

--The San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami shares some memorable stories covering Shaq.

--Former Laker Mark Madsen shares his Top 10 Shaq stories.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wonders if Kurt Rambis regrets coaching the Minnesota Timberwolves considering he might be in a better position to coach the Lakers.

--ESPN's Stephen A. Smith highlights Shaq's personality.

--Sports Illustrated considers Magic Johnson game-winning hook shot in Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics as one of the top Finals moments.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano reflects on Shaquille O'Neal's career.

Tweet of the Day:"This series should be required to go to seven." -- ESPNLandoLakers (ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky on the NBA Finals)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day:"Here's why the Lakers need to hold out hope for Dwight Howard. When looking at the championship teams over the last 30 years all of them have had one of the top 5 players in the league...except the 2004 Pistons...and maybe the Bad Boys Pistons although Zeke could've been considered a top 5 player even though he wasn’t voted to the all-NBA teams during those years. Whoever wins the championship this year will continue that tradition. Will Kobe be one of the top 5 in 2012? How about 2013? How about Pau? No way. Drew?

Nope. Hence, the Lakers need to use their assets (Pau/Drew/LO) to obtain a top 5 player. Are CP3 or Deron Williams top 5 players? If playing very well they both could be top 10 players, but like Tom Daniels stated in his excellent post (6:56am) elite PG’s under 6-9 have not added up to championships recently. DHoward is the player the Lakers want to make sure they’re in a position to get if/when he tells Orlando he’s not re-signing. (Earlier this week Howard went on record saying he will not sign an extension until his team proves it’s a championship contender). With the big 3 in Miami and the emergence of Chicago, I can’t see how Orlando is going to prove to Dwight they’re contenders before the trade deadline. DHoward (not CP3 or DWill) is a sure fire top 5 player for the next 7 years. I would hate to see the Lakers out of contention to get him because of a previous trade for a PG." -- LRob2

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Caught in the Web: Reactions to Mike Brown being hired as Lakers coach

Photos: Former Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown. Credits, from top: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images; Mark Duncan, Associated Press; Tony Dejak / Associated Press -- The L.A. Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner report the following nuggets surrounding the Lakers' choice of Mike Brown as the team's head coach: The decision to hire Brown was mostly made by Jim Buss, the team's executive vice president of player personnel  son of owner Jerry Buss; Brown's deal is expected to be worth $4.5 million a season over four years, including a team option, and many in the Lakers' front office were surprised by the hire.

Some more nuggets from Bresnahan and Turner: Brown may not sign a deal until early next week; Brown met Jim Buss on Saturday in Minneapolis and impressed him with a presentation about defensive schemes; people familiar with Kobe Bryant's thinking said he was still pondering the decision; Chuck Person has the best chance to be a part of Brown's coaching staff; and Jim Cleamons will likely interview with the Phoenix Suns to become their defensive coordinator.

-- The Times' Bill Plaschke argues Brown won't be a good fit for the Lakers.

-- The Times' Lisa Dillman details how Brown's arrival means the "demise of the triangle."

-- True Hoop's Henry Abbott explores the myths surrounding Brown. 

--'s David Aldridge explains the philosophy on defense that Brown will bring to the Lakers. 

-- Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick reports that Bryant was "surprised" by the Brown hire and that he was not a part of the decision-making process. 

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Caught in the Web: Mike Brown could become the next Lakers coach

61863981-- The L.A. Times' Broderick Turner reports the Lakers have put together a deal to hire former Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown as their new coach. Turner also reports that if Brown agrees to the deal, he'll sign a contract for $4 million to $4.5 million per season for three years, including a team option on the fourth year that would give him partial pay if he were not retained.

-- I highlight Jerry Buss' comments made to Playboy Radio's Michael Eaves and Bonnie-Jill Laflin on Sirius XM Radio regarding the coaching search to replace Phil Jackson. Read the entire transcript of the interview

-- The Times' Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton report that the family of a child who died after plunging at least 30 feet from a luxury box at Staples Center earlier this season at a Lakers game filed suit against the owners of the venue, alleging that a poorly designed barrier led to the incident.

-- The Times' Lance Pugmire highlights the NBA Basketball Players Assn. filing an unfair-labor-practices charge against the league with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging "harsh, inflexible and grossly regressive 'takeaway' demands."

-- The Times' Mark Heisler describes the Bulls-Heat game as a "1980s-style superstar shootout."

--'s David Aldridge reports that the Lakers have narrowed their coaching search to Brown, Rick Adelman and Brian Shaw.

--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick talks to a source who indicated Kobe Bryant was "surprised" to hear the Lakers favored Brown and that he was never consulted about it. 

-- The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights Theo Ratliff's charitable efforts in Alabama. 

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