Brian Shaw: The LA Lakers’ Real Coaching Dilemma

The Los Angeles Lakers have a real coaching dilemma, and it is not just if current head coach Phil Jackson will return or retire. The Lakers have an invaluable asset on their bench that they must keep.

Scary news came out of LA just yesterday that the Lakers have granted permission for the Cleveland Cavaliers organization to interview Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw for their head coaching opening. These are dangerous times in LA.

Shaw has been part of the franchise for over 10 years. He won three rings playing in the Shaq/Kobe days and then joined Phil Jackson’s staff, first as a scout and then, since Phil returned in his second stint with the Lakers, Shaw has been an assistant on the bench.

Brian Shaw has been a winner everywhere he’s been. He literally put the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (UCSB, my alma mater, by the way) basketball team on the national map in the late 1980s with wins over NCAA Champs Nevada-Las Vegas, the Runnin' Rebels.

And, Shaw was the leader of those college teams that made the NCAA tourney. UCSB has been a basketball school ever since.

Shaw was drafted in the first round by the Boston Celtics (one pick ahead of the Lakers, if you can believe it) but ended up first playing in Europe. He then returned two years later to the NBA and remained a quality NBA player for over 10 years.

His early notoriety came with the Orlando Magic where he teamed with a younger Shaquille O’Neal for what was known as the “Shaw/Shaq Redemption.” The point guard, Shaw, would throw countless alley-oop passes to Shaq Diesel to throw down, thus earning that nickname as a play on words from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.

Shaw came to the Lakers in 1999 (especially since he had good relations with Shaq) and was a key veteran on the three-in-a-row championship team.

But Shaw’s real asset is his mind. He learned and now knows the triangle o...

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