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Report: Nuggets hire Brian Shaw as next coach

Jun 24, 2013, 8:50 PM EDT

Brian Shaw AP

Brian Shaw has finally landed a head coaching job.

And it’s a good one — he’s taking over the 57-win Denver Nuggets.

This was first reported by the Denver Post. It was confirmed by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports who got the word from Shaw himself.

This is a quality hire by Denver — a young coach that the players will respect to go with a young team on the rise. You never know how it will go when a coach gets his first shot in the big chair, but this seems as good a fit as can be. Shaw replaces a good coach in George Karl, who was the NBA Coach of the Year this past season, but one that had trouble getting the Nuggets to advance deep in the playoffs (although injury had something to do with that this year).

Shaw beat out the guy Memphis fired in Lionel Hollins and Spurs assistant Brett Brown for the job.

Shaw was drafted out of UC Santa Barbara to the Larry Bird era Boston Celtics, but his playing days are best remembered picking up rings with the Kobe/Shaq Lakers. When his playing days ended he joined Phil Jackson’s coaching staff and picked up rings as the Kobe/Gasol Lakers won titles. When Jackson retired the Lakers players wanted Shaw to take over, but management wanted to go another direction (which has gone oh so smoothly). After that Shaw has been an assistant to Frank Vogel in Indiana, where the Pacers have developed into a force.

It’s a heck of a resume, but it took a long time for Shaw to land a head coaching job (there rumors are he did not interview well, at least not at first).

Now he’s got the job at the head of a good young team. The Nuggets have Ty Lawson running the point, a great stretch four in Danilo Gallinari (when he gets back from knee surgery a couple months into next season), the enigmatic JaVale McGee and quality energy guy Kenneth Faried.

The big question personnel is will the addition of Shaw and the money offered be enough to keep Andre Iguodala with the Nuggets. Also, Geoge Karl got in trouble for leaning on veterans like Andre Miller when the management wanted to develop youngsters like Evan Fournier.

The Nuggets are a good offensive team, Shaw doesn’t need to tinker much on that end and has said he will not run the triangle in Denver (doesn’t really fit the personnel at all). What matters is he needs to improve the defense, which was solid but not great at 11th in the NBA last season in points allowed per possession this past season. Improve the defense (around McGee?) and the Nuggets become a real threat.

Shaw will relate well to the players. He is not wed to the triangle offense, he will go with what works (although you can expect a few triangle sets in there). Expect the Nuggets to stay up-tempo and fun. Expect them to stay good.

  1. tomtravis76 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Its a great move by GM Tim Connelly. Nuggets fans are going to be really happy with the direction he takes this team.

    • shanelsweet - Jun 25, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      Rookie coach takes the pressure off of McGee too. If he doesn’t step up as a starter, then it’s easier for management to blame someone like Shaw than it would be a proven coach like Hollins (or Karl for that matter). Management may love McGee, but expect that signing is going to hurt for a while. He’s a great guy with lots of personality, but he isn’t going to play consistently well enough to help Denver improve.

      • vapor54 - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:46 AM

        shane- McGee was a little more consistent in Denver than he was in DC, but I’m not sure if we’ll see much more improvement from him.

  2. senorpapino - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    This guy has been the most hyped assistant coach in the past few years. Time to see if he lives up to it. The Nuggets future is as bright as any team for the next 5 years.

  3. htownred34 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    It’s about time he gets a gig, I think he’ll do fine, but I still don’t see the nuggets getting out of the 2nd round…

  4. kb2408 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Congrats to B. Shaw. He didn’t get the Clips job but this is a better job.

  5. 00maltliquor - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Finally got a gig, huh. Now time to see what he’s really about, if the hype surrounding him was worth it. Nice to see him in a ready-made situation in DEN, it’ll be very interesting to see what they’ll do next season, compared to this season. All I know is he better start JaVale McGee or his coaching career in Denver will end quicker then it started! Bosses orders.

    • badintent - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      He can start him , and yank him after his first stupid brain freeze in the first 10 minutes.I iwsh this guy had his mother’s intensity. She always looks like she is gonna break his neck with her stare. Badass mama.

      • football58 - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:50 AM

        Wow, so any mistake that McGee makes is going to be considered a brain freeze. Every player in the NBA makes mistakes but for some reason JaVale is going to have to live with a reputation made by idiot sports casters and fans who can’t think for themselves. Give me some stats that would back up McGee excessively turning the ball over or missing assignments more than the average player in the NBA.

  6. gamedate15 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    I think other teams shied away from shaw because they were skeptical whether he can coach some defense

  7. patfic15 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    I hope all the waiting pays off for you Brian. Always liked the man since the Magic. Old school.

  8. steelerfanforlife - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    It’s about time! Congrats to Brian Shaw!

  9. tastybasslines - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Karl to Brian Shaw is a substantial downgrade…Team will finish with a worse record than last year for sure.

  10. anhdazman - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    This team’s GM and HC was gutted. There’s a chance that Iguodala doesn’t return. Even if he does, he’s not going to get anything close to his final 1 year 15 million. (Who in their right mind turns that down?)
    They’ll drop to a 7th or 8th seeding trying to get a final playoff berth with all the changes.

    • vapor54 - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:58 AM

      anhd- Good points, and I don’t think Iggy was much better than Afflalo, who was part of the big trade.

  11. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Ball don’t lie!

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