May 13, 2011, 6:59 PM EDT
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).
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