The Case for Brian Shaw as the Next Coach of the Lakers

The Case for Brian Shaw as the Next Coach of the Lakers


Brian Shaw is as familiar  to Lakers fans as cracker jacks are to a baseball game. We all have fond memories of his clutch threes in the epic comeback against Portland, his steady veteran leadership, his defense and of course his alley-oop passes as part of the Shaw-Shaq redemption. But the question on Lakers’ fans minds now is, would he make a good head coach?

There is something to be said for continuity and the of hiring Shaw would represent the ultimate in that respect. He would almost certainly run the triangle offense and there is probably no other available candidate more qualified to do so than he. The triangle has been good to the Lakers over the years and as recently a season ago it was the system that brought them a second consecutive title. And really the truth is that with their current roster of aging players and non-athletes, it tough to foresee the Lakers changing styles of play with their current personnel. But keeping the system in tact isn’t the only reason to go with Shaw.

To a man, almost every Lakers player has, when asked, given their endorsement to Shaw as the successor to Phil Jackson. Jackson himself even gave his blessing. It’s obvious that the young assistant is incredibly well liked and respected within the organization. This speaks not only to his leadership and basketball knowledge but also the unique way he relates to the players. His is seen simultaneously both as a peer and as an authority figure, someone who can play one on one with players after practice but also lend harsh critiques on the sideline during a game.  It’s not exactly out of the Phil Jackson mold, but this type of dynamic could lend itself to much better communication between players and coach. Communication will breed trust and trust might in turn make the difference between wins and losses.

Of course one of the criticisms that will be levied at Shaw throughout the hiring process is that he is not experienced enough, that he has in fact never been a head coach on any level of basketball. Yet what that statement belies is his years put in with the Lakers as an assistant and his understanding of the personalities within the locker room. There may be a learning curve when it comes to making in game adjustments or strategic choices, but from day one Shaw will have a rock solid relationship with each of the star players.

Moreover, the fact that Shaw comes fresh out of the box might be a good thing when it comes to keeping the interest and respect of his players. To some extent, each of the other top three options, Adelman, Dunleavy and Van Gundy, are all retreads. They have all been around the proverbial NBA block and although each comes with a history of some success none have a championship pedigree. If times get tough who is to say that the players won’t start tuning out what they perceive as the words of someone who has “never done it before.” The respect factor becomes a serious issue.

But Shaw? He’s one of them. He’s been to war with Kobe and Fisher, won championships with them, and it’s likely they’re willing to go to the mattresses to fight for their friend and former comrade. That fact alone warrants consideration.

There is no question that the selection of Shaw would be something of a gamble but the potential reward might just be high enough to justify the risk. It has worked before for the Lakers. Pat Riley was essentially plucked right out of the broadcast booth and went on to one of the all-time great coaching careers. If the Lakers pick Shaw, they’ll be betting that history repeats.

All this week we’re dissecting the arguments for the next coach of the Lakers. Tuesday we made the case for Jeff Van Gundy, Wednesday was Rick Adelman. Look for Mike Dunleavy tomorrow.


  • Excalibur-AKA Brandon Cave

    Like if you first read that it said Adelman, Dunleavy, and Van Gundy are all retards.

  • Bawaneca

    I think the best coach for the Lakers’ gig at this time with the core of the team coming back next year and they will still be a viable playoff and final’s contender would be Brian Shaw. (1) Brian knows the present system ( Triangle Offense), because he has played under that system while on the Bulls team prior to coming to the Lakers with Phil Jackson and the core of the team returning ( Kobe, Pau, Bynum and Odom) have been feed under the system for at least four years. So bringing in another coach other then Brian would change the whole system and philosophy and would decrease the odds of the Lakers being a contender for the NBA title next years. (2)  Brian knows the Lakers front office infrastructure from top to bottom. And (3) Brian has the approval of the core of the present team and it’s leader, Kobe Bryant.  Brian would also have the time to tweak the team towards his philosophy for the future.   So as you can see, it’s a no-Brianer!!!

  • Shane West

    I personaly would like to see Pat Rilely come back to coach the Lakers! 

  • Loren Malbrough

    Brian shaw should be the next coach that would be the best move for the lakers. the lakers got the next best coach in brian shaw and the lakers would be stupid if that didnt make him the next head coach what has adelman, dunleavy, and van gundy done ever its a reason why all the teams that need head coachs are going after brian shaw, because he has been under the wing of the greats coach alive so pick brian shaw and trade pau gasol, ron artest and luke walton for Dwight Howard and Brandon Bass that would be a great pick up and the lakers could start Andrew Bynum at C, Dwight Howard at F, Lamar Odom at SF, Kobe Bryant at SG, and Derek Fisher at G and let go of theo ratliff and joe smith they are to old and start playing Caracter and Ebanks and go and get a young G out of the draft and trade all of those 2nd round picks an try to get a 1st round pick to be the next starting G like Jimmer Fredette or Shelvin Mack or ever Nolan Smith and then the lakers can pick up a active big man like Nene and if the lakers dont pick up a good G out the draft they can sign  Rodney Stuckey or Aaron Brooks man this is what should happen or what needs to happen the lakes need some body that can score other than kobe and thats gonna play D  

  • LAFred

      I think seriously that Lakers need someone like Charles Barkley as their new coach.  That guy is one knowledgeable guy and has seen it all.