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Brian Shaw is a lot more than a guy who coaches the triangle

May 13, 2011, 6:59 PM EDT

Phil Jackson, Brian Shaw AP

Lakers assistant Brian Shaw is all over the place now. Interviewed in Houston, will get interviewed for Golden State, and of course is at the front of the line for the Lakers gig.

Soon, somewhere, he is going to be an NBA head coach.

On of the best bits of reporting this week came in a feature from ESPN’s Arash Markazi talking about the most trying time in Shaw’s life. Shaw had bought his parents a car and a second home in Las Vegas, and his father, mother, sister and young niece were driving out there.

When the phone rang at 8:30 the next morning, Brian Shaw got up slowly, looked at the clock and answered the phone. It was about a 10-hour drive from Oakland to Las Vegas, and Shaw was certain he would hear his father’s voice on the other end of the line.

“It was the coroner’s office saying they had gotten into a car accident,” Shaw said, still struggling with the words nearly 18 years later.

According to reports, the Nevada Highway Patrol would conclude that Charles, 52, fell asleep at the wheel at about 5:15 a.m. on Interstate 15, just 9 miles from Las Vegas. The car hit the center divider and rolled, ejecting Charles; Barbara, 51; Monica, 24; and Brianna. Barbara and Monica died at the scene of the accident. Charles died from his injuries about an hour later at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Brianna, who was riding in a child-restraint seat, survived, but was hospitalized with a ruptured spleen and facial lacerations.

“I felt like I was in a bad dream,” Shaw said. “Like I was in a nightmare and I was going to wake up and everything was going to be fine again.”

Like any of us would, Shaw beats himself up over the incident, even though it was not his fault.

We all to often talk about players, coaches and more in an impersonal way. They are part of a fantasy team or just the guy we see on television. They guy that helped our team succeed or stood in their way.

But they are all human being who struggle with the same issues and challenges we all do. Some with horrific loss. Yes, they have been blessed with athletic gifts and get to make a lot of money playing a game, but that doesn’t make losing your family feel any different.

Go read the whole piece. You’ll come away rooting for Brian Shaw (at least a little bit).

  1. cosanostra71 - May 13, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Great article. Brian Shaw is a character guy who has all the makings of a great coach. I will be extremely disappointed if the Lakers hire anyone else, to be quite honest.

    • purdueman - May 14, 2011 at 5:07 AM

      First of all, the Lakers have been eliminated from this years playoffs, hurrah-hurrah!

      Putting aside the glut of syrupy Shaw characters columns of late, as a rookie head coach Shaw’s simply the wrong guy to take over a team of mostly on the wrong side of 30 veteran players. We’ve seen that movie before with former Laker rookie head coach and fan favorite Kurt Rambutt and the ending wasn’t pretty.

      The mere fact that the Lakers have told Shaw he’s free to seek a head coaching position elsewhere speaks volumes. Add to that that Dunleavy and Adelmen are the hot names being dropped by Lakers staffers and, well, you get the picture.

      Part of the reason that Phil Jackson was so successful with the Lakers is because he was able to put Kobe in his place and get him to stop back seat driving the team. A rookie head coach is just an invitation for Kobe to ride shotgun again and do as he pleases when things aren’t going so well.

      • hoopsfanatic - May 14, 2011 at 11:27 AM


        Currently, I am leaning in your direction. If the Lakers would have won the title, I would have had no problems with Brian Shaw taking over, especially in light of the impending lockout. However, considering the Lakers disappointing postseason, I think it might be best if the Lakers looked outside the organization for their next hire.

        fyi, I notice that there is another poster on this site using “hoops” as part of his name. I hope there is no confusion of who is who. I enjoy our banter, but I don’t want to be held liable for someone else’s comments. 😀

      • purdueman - May 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        Thanks, hoops! I enjoy your banter too and appreciate the heads up about the potential confusion over “handle” names… I didn’t realize that there was more than one poster in that department, but will now of course watch for same.

        If the Lakers were serious about hiring Brian Shaw, it would have already happened and they wouldn’t have given him permission to interview already for two different head coaching positions. Shaw would be perfect for a team that’s about to be “transitioned”, but Lakers GM Kupchak has made it clear that he has no intention of going in that direction.

        It really makes no sense for the Lakers to rebuild right now either, as I’m sure Kobe wants no part of that and still has a couple of productive years left.

        The hot rumor today here in LA is that the Lakers have started to aggressively shop Odom for a starting point guard. Reports out here on sports talk radio say that the Lakers have not contacted New Orleans about Paul though (as I’m sure that the Lakers realize Bynum would have to be part of any such deal), but have contacted Denver, Cleveland and one other team that’s already out of the playoffs.

        I think that even though the Lakers are “Showtime”, their front office has grown weary of the La Mar/Kardasian distracting side show too. I bet though that La Mar will throw a major hissy if he’s exiled far, far away from Hollywood to the obscurity that is Cleveland, but then again his only alternative should such a trade occur would be to retire (as I’m sure that he has all the money that he needs by now for the rest of his lifetime).

  2. thetooloftools - May 13, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    The rest of the NBA is hoping and praying the Lakers let Shaw walk. He is smart and tough and that makes for a powerful coach.
    Look at Doc Rivers.
    Last I looked Brian Shaw has had “stud” coaches both playing and as an assistant.
    Lakers: let him walk at YOUR own peril.

  3. thetooloftools - May 15, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    I’m LeBron James.
    I didn’t say anything stupid today but I’m posting to keep my name out there.

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