Los Angeles Lakers Hire Brian Shaw; Will Be Walton’s Top Assistant
The Los Angeles Lakers are set to hire Brian Shaw as the top assistant to newly-signed head coach, Luke Walton. Shaw actually has more head coaching experience than Walton, but not quite the success. Shaw went 56-85 in just over 1 ½ seasons coaching the Denver Nuggets before being fired.
In 2015-16, Walton led the Golden State Warriors to a 39-4 start as an interim head coach, while Steve Kerr took time off to rehabilitate a back injury.
However, Shaw has had success as an assistant coach, specifically with the Lakers. He was a member of former-coach Phil Jackson’s staff during three straight trips to the NBA Finals, resulting in championships in 2009 and 2010.
The Lakers’ new head coach and top assistant are familiar with each other as Walton was still playing for the team during Shaw’s previous stint in LA as an assistant. Shaw spent 7 years as an assistant with the Lakers and 1 with the Indiana Pacers before parlaying that experience into a head coaching position with the Nuggets.
Shaw’s short time in Denver was quite rocky. Many felt he struggled to relate with the team and had lost support in the locker room. The team lost 19 of their last 21 games under Shaw and the players appeared to quit on the coach.
Perhaps it was because some of the players felt their coach quit on them. Nuggets’ forward Kenneth Faried said to Mark Kisla of the Denver Post:
“If you don’t have a coach that believes in you, then what’s the point of going out there and playing? If your coach doesn’t have faith in you and puts you out in the fire against all these great players, you’re going to get torched.”
Back in Los Angeles, Shaw will not only be a part of rebuilding the Lakers, but also rebuilding his reputation as a coach. Maybe he is best suited to be an NBA assistant, but it’s likely he wants to develop his craft and eventually earn another shot as a head coach.
The Lakers have the 2nd overall pick in next month’s draft in addition to other talented young players for him to work with as they transition into the post-Kobe era.
(Los Angeles Lakers Hire Brian Shaw)