Much has been made of the fact that each of the past two times the Lakers have switched head coaches, Brian Shaw’s name has come up, but he never gets the nod.
Shaw is widely lauded as a great assistant coach, but the question remains, will he ever be a head coach.
Rumors circulate constantly why Shaw hasn’t been selected a head coach, and according to Rich Bucher of CSN BayArea, Shaw’s insistence and commitment to running Phil Jackson’s triangle offense is what is impeding his opportunities.
Shaw’s calling card is that he learned the Triangle under Phil Jackson, he of the 11 championship rings. Shaw helped win three of those rings as a player and two as an assistant coach. Several teams who have interviewed him say the Triangle is the offense he has proposed. The consensus around the league is that Shaw is the NBA equivalent of a great Concorde pilot: his resumè says he’s good at flying something no one believes can get off the ground.
As one of the GMs who has interviewed him explained: “The Triangle has never worked for anyone, anywhere, other than Phil, and that was only when he had Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Let’s face it, how many of his assistants have gone on to be successful head coaches? Whether it’s fair or not, the perception is that it was all Phil and the Lakers’ ability to get whatever they needed. Another part is that the Lakers didn’t hire Shaw when they had the chance. If they didn’t think he could make it work for them, with all of their resources, can you really go to your owner with a convincing argument as to why he’s going to make it work for your team?”
Fair or foul, Shaw may have to come up with his own philosophy to get the job he wants.