Brian Shaw: Wanted man

In the past week Brian Shaw has been tied to some interesting story developments. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, part of the absolutely baffling decline of the Indiana Pacers could be a result of Brian Shaw’s absence. Per Stein:

ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reports that sources with knowledge of the Pacers’ locker room dynamic have been insisting for months that Indiana would miss the presence of assistant coach Brian Shaw, who left the club last summer to become the Denver Nuggets‘ head man.

Even more intriguing are Shaw’s recent ties to head coaching vacancies in the bright lights of New York and L.A. According to The Denver Post’s Christopher Dempsey, the Lakers will gauge Kobe Bryant on his preference for new head coach and Shaw’s name could come up. From Dempsey:

“If it comes up, then it just comes up,” Shaw said. “My commitment is here. I’m not a disgruntled coach or anything like that. My loyalty to the Nuggets hasn’t swayed at all.”

Brian Shaw has had three stops in his brief coaching career: Los Angeles, Indiana and now Denver. Though much of this is hearsay, it’s looking as if all three still want him in some varying degree or another, while Indiana (Roy Hibbert, specifically) is in the throes of a complete meltdown without him. Brian Shaw had a rough first season with the Nuggets and certainly had an interesting record of job interviews before landing in Denver, but as the smoke clears one thing is becoming clear: Brian Shaw is a wanted man.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Richard Pesicka

    Do yourself a favor Shaw, Jump ship. Leave Denver as far in the rear view mirror as you possibly can. One of the worst managed clubs in the league.

  • Heisenberg

    Guessing they didn’t actually watch Shaw coach. Shaw would probably have Hibbert launching 3’s if he went to Indiana.

    Notice one team who is NOT being mentioned: The Knicks, even though he was an assistant under Phil.

    • Kyle Henson

      So you’re saying you really like Shaw

  • mike gomez

    shaw who has job is still getting more interest than our old coach. so sad for karl he might he passed up by a rookie coach again.

    • Heisenberg

      lol….Indiana is the only team reportedly interested, Lakers aren’t interested unless Kobe wants Shaw.

      Minnesota and LA are both interested in GK. Karl just isn’t going to go anywhere, he’s going to pick the right team.

      • mike gomez

        its not like he has a choice, their might be rumors that they might be interest, but he still not serious candidate. he is going to get pass up by a rookie coach again.

        • gimpcom187

          Why do you hate karl so much to enjoy the thought of him not getting a coaching job? It seems irrational. Nevermind, I answered my own question.

          • mike gomez

            i don’t hate him,i respect everything he did in his time here, but we just have to move on, and give the new coach a chance, which most here refuse too do.

            • gimpcom187

              Yeah your wrong. Most people say things like I prefer this season to last. And what does hoping karl doesnt get a job have to do with moving on.

              • mike gomez

                now your just putting word in my mouth. when did i say i hope he doesn’t he a job. im jst saying he is not that sought after like other coaches, and yes most here are anti shaw, and refuse to give him a fair shot.

              • gimpcom187

                “He is going to get passed up by rookie coach.” Very supportive thought process.
                A FEW here are anti shaw. Many here are pipe dreamers for shaw/karl haters. The rest are realistic. As in he better get better next year or he wont have a 3rd year. Maybe it will happen. Maybe not.

              • mike gomez

                well if you notice that the new trend, what happen last summer karl got passed up by rookie coaches, and the lakers might go the same route. right now everybody here is anti shaw and refuse to give him a shot and start with one sided view toward things, just being negative all the time. i agree if he doesn’t improve them you could start to question but now it isnt fair.

              • Heisenberg

                Shaw deserves one more year. I think he can still turn things around and become a better coach. But there is no denying that he was below average this season. I’m not advocating for firing him yet, but if we don’t see considerable improvement next year it’ll be time to cut him loose.

                Shaw improved toward the end of the season which gives some hope. I’d like to see Shaw do well.

              • gimpcom187

                Youre assumming karl had interest in those jobs. Clippers signed doc, memphis only let their coach go because they preferred their assistant. Who else was good enough in talent for karl to even waste time interviewing. Nets signed kidd like 3 days after karl was let go. Karl is in his 60s and isnt stupid. He needs a current all star to make any type of run. Youre confusing his lack of interest with the teams lack of interest.

                Why would you want to coach kobe at the end? Jackson left for that exact reason 3 years ago prior to 2 major injuries. Karl doesnt NEED a job just for the sake of it.

                My point is yournegativity toward karl biases you from seeing the reality that there are probably 10 or less jobs karl would even consider. Most populated by coaches that arent getting fired.

              • mike gomez

                if he didn’t he wouldn’t of gone to the interviews, memphis didnt let go of their coach because they wanted their assistant, it was because they didn’t see to eye. they still interview other coaches. im just saying he is not that sought after, owner are going the young route. well the lakers consider him they could built the team for him, you konw they are capable of bring in talent. im not being negative toward karl im just saying the reality of things. it wont be easy for him to find a job he likes, because it looks like the nba is going the young route.

              • heykyleinsf

                Love your sweet double standard.

                You and your ilk are hilarious.

              • gimpcom187

                Im not sure you understand what double standard” means. I have been very fair to Shaw. Ive said the team has not shown improvement on defense which is constantly contended here and the stats PROVE it. Ive said the development of players is something you need to see proof of for next year as the improvements have been small sample size issues or minimal improvement in terms of last years numbers. It’s called being accurate and rational. Ive only defended Karl when others (you included) have said negative things or implicated negative things about Karl that are false, disingenuous, or show a lack of basketball acumen. Feel free to thank me for wasting so much of my time putting together numbers to give you accurate information.

                Just FYI the GSW series this year is yet MORE evidence that last years loss was not nearly as disappointing as some would have you believe. LAC is better/more talented than any of those teams (DEN last year, GSW last year and GSW this year without Bogut and yet GSW BARELY lost against a VERY talented team that played well and had what most would consider a top 5 coach).

  • heykyleinsf

    well well well.

    Iggy’s season is over.
    “Oh he does so much that doesn’t show up in the stat line”
    But 5 turnovers kind of does.


    Probably on Chris Paul right about now knowing him.

    • LBJ

      Posts like this confirm what a douche bag you are….

      • heykyleinsf

        Replies like that confirm how little I could give a flying … about your opinion. On anything.

  • Dubs

    From the comments around here, it doesn’t seem like Shaw is very popular here. To be honest, I understand where the frustration is coming from but, I don’t agree with it. I think Shaw is a good coach who needs time to properly come up with a system to organize the offense and incorporate up-tempo basketball (kind of like Golden State does).

    At the beginning of the year, The Nuggets were clearly running HORNS concepts with some “Triangle” and cuts off the pinch post action. From what I saw, the Nuggets did not produce many points offensively and were visibly lost on the court. After the first 8 games of the season concluded, the Nuggets were 22nd in offensive efficiency after finishing 2nd in that department the year before. In addition, they weren’t able to play their man-to-man style on defense due to poor switches and a lack of a perimeter defender (ie. Andre Igoudala). Add that to poor initial team chemistry and this results in a very poor start to the season and Brian Shaw decided to adjust.

    Brian Shaw decided to re-invent the wheel by installing old George Karl “offensive concepts” back into the mix. It started off well helping the Nuggets win 9 of their next 11 games. The Nuggets were going back to their transition game that made them successful in the regular season under George Karl. However, the defense struggled to make turnovers to make the system complete, and the Denver Nuggets ended up losing the majority of their games to finish the season and struggled to find a rhythm. This tells me something about Brian Shaw that goes under-appreciated around the forums.

    He was man enough to say to himself “My way isn’t working, I need to go back to what the players feel is most comfortable.” After his way didn’t work, Shaw decided to go back to the George Karl style of basketball. And it didn’t necessarily work because Brian Shaw didn’t use any off-season time to focus on that. He wasn’t prepared for the tornado and did not develop a Plan B to counteract with that. It happens with most rookie coaches around the league and it is not abnormal to see that.

    But, like all teams thast are trying to rebuild, this is a process. Change into a playoff contender with a “playoff contending system” does not happen in one season. It usually takes two to three years for something like that to take its full form.

    I think Brian Shaw got his first rookie year out of his system. Bill Belichick needed it, Pete Carroll needed it, even George Karl needed it (finished 36-46 just like Shaw did). Nobody is going to master a craft the first time they attempt it. I think a little patience in his development can go a long way and judging from the article on top, it seems like people miss his services enough for it to make a difference. Give it some time and keep hope alive. The Nuggets are going to be good in a couple years of development with Shaw at the helm.

    • gimpcom187

      Obviously the roster turnover and injuries played a role, but the thing you forgot to mention is that the nuggets lost 22 games off their record from the previous year. You are coming late to the game as there has been a rigorous discussion of Shaw for the last 2 months so I won’t go into some of your thoughts. Some are valid. It has been mentioned (by me) that probably the most encouraging thing of shaw’s entire year is that he was willing to adapt back away from his original plans after a few weeks of it clearly not working.

      Some of the negativity you see is the fact that many people on here refuse to learn from there mistakes of last year in terms of understanding coches and the relative talent (or lackthereof) on this team as well. It’s been an annoying process. Many people still say things like you don’t really need to get an All-star to be a championship contender or you don’t need to get a lottery pick to get an All-star (which 80-90% of the all-stars come from the top 10 picks so of course any logical thinker wouldn’t say that).

      In addition you are naming Football coaches which is a very different game. In the NBA the top defensive coaches (which many on here consider Shaw to as) do make huge improvements with their teams in year one on the defensive side. All the Van Gundy disciples, etc

      • Dubs

        I agree with the premise that you need a key top-10 kind of guy to win a championship. It is impossible to win without one. Especially when you are going against the likes of a Lebron James or a Kevin Durant.

        I don’t think George Karl’s style of basketball wins playoff games. Melo, Chauncey, and Camby could be playing together but, a transition game is the kiss of death as far as winning a championship goes.

        • gimpcom187

          agreed. Luckily you have Curry who is probably the 3rd best offensive force in the league. I think Thorpe on ESPN called him a guy who should become nash 2.0 during his 2nd year and he was completely right. Nash was a better dribbler which made him slightly better in the lane, but otherwise the games are eerily similar. It will be interesting to see where Love ends up. I think you all have a good shot and become top 3 team with a team of healthy players if you swap love for Lee and Barnes (or maybe green).

      • Cullen

        I agree largely with what you said. I do think in the modern NBA you need a top 10 player to win. You need someone who night in and night out will drop 20+ and can finish a game. I know there is a lot of animosity towards Melo around here, but he was as close as we have gotten to a championship MVP type player. Although, it is arguable that he is not. I think his game has fallen off since leaving Denver in a lot of ways, but that maybe because of the coaching/Knicks in general.

        I do think you can win without a top 10 all star type player, it would just take a very special team with a diverse talent set and incredible coaching. I use to thin that was the route Denver should go, but I have changed my opinion on that. They need to trade up in the draft or trade for a player like DeRozan (Toronto would never do that, probably).

        I do think your last paragraph insinuates something kind of troubling though. I do think that Shaw is not a defensive guru like Thibs from Chicago, etc. But, I do think roster has quite a bit more to do with it than you are giving Shaw credit for. The Nuggets roster has close to ZERO people who actually wants to play defense. Like I said, Shaw could have done A LOT more, but this roster isn’t exactly fitting of that scheme, so he adapted.

    • heykyleinsf

      well you’re a Dubs fan..
      first of all. welcome.

      2nd .. look at Mark Jackson and see a lot in common with Shaw.
      First year he struggled and actually did much much worse than Shaw did.
      His second year he beat the guy in the playoffs.. whom many of these anti-Shaw guys are bitter about losing and Shaw replacing.
      Jackson just took that team to seven games vs a 3rd ranked team like we were last year from the 6th seed you were both years.
      Iguodala. You guys got sold a bill of goods thinking he would help you.. turns out with that 4 year deal at $12M per.. you’re stuck with the most over-rated player in the NBA..
      Mark Jackson might have to pay the price for that.
      How can such a great player possibly cause two coaches in two
      consecutive years to lose their jobs?

      • gimpcom187

        Comparing Shaw and Jackson is silly. Jackson is an inspirational coach who is mediocre at XOs stuff and leaves a lot of that to his assistants. In addition, Jackson had never been on an NBA bench while Shaw spent numerous years developing his skills with multiple teams. In addition, Jackson had shown improvement in the team until Curry/lee went down for a spell and the team decided to tank by trading Monta ellis for a guy who wasn’t playing that season. Sorry there really isn’t a comparison. We’ve been through this before kyle.

        • heykyleinsf

          how are you saying it’s silly when so far.. in parallel to each other in their respective coaching careers.. Shaw has done a better job than Jackson?

          You’re a ridiculous hater.

          We’ve been over that too.

          • gimpcom187

            I don’t hate the shaw nor did I say anything negative about Shaw. That’s the point. You say something silly, I refute it with facts and context and you say “hater” All the points I made in previous post and relate in this post have been made before with you. It’s silly because you don’t seem to learn anything. not to mention you take the one coach in 5 that makes marked improvement (lets define that as .150+ improvement on win percentage from year 1 to year 2.) Most of the time you can see the value of the coach in year 1 at least on the defensive end.

            After their playing careers shaw and Jackson have TOTALLY divergent paths to becoming a coach. Shaw spent 5-7 years as an assistant coach. Jackson spent zero. The circumstances of their teams were totally different. Shaw’s team was a 57 win team prior to him coming in. Jackson’s team won 36 the prior season and was on pace to be .500 prior to the injuries and trading of monta ellis,

            Jackson’s team needing to remain top 7 in draft to keep their pick (since you don’t like to believe tanking exists). Jackson’s team didn’t even have a center on the roster except for biedrins (who has been d-league quality for 3 years now..

            Shaw’s team added brooks for depth on the team as opposed to trying to acquire a PG to develop suggesting the team was attempting to win as many games as possible.

            Jackson has a clear top 10 player in league in curry who was out for 60% of the season while Shaw has zero all-stars on the team.

        • Dubs

          Mark does leave a lot of stuff to his assistants. I wouldn’t discount his player experience though. He was somewhat responsible for developing those screens and flex movements.

          You’re right about Iggy, he’s been nothing but a great 2-way player in the league. A poor man’s Lebron if I have ever seen it.

      • Dubs

        Thanks for the warm welcome!

  • Cullen

    I think if Shaw leaves it will be for the Indiana job after Vogel gets fired if they lose in the second round. (I don’t think Vogel SHOULD be fired, I just think if they got dropped in round 2 he might.)

    Any other place does not really make that much sense. LA is going to hire a big name big dollar guy that will have ESPN coverage for a very long time. Not Shaw. He is also not going to NY, Kerr basically has that job already.

    • mike gomez

      well he said he he is not leaving, and staying loyal to the team, so basically the only way he leaves if he get fire

      • Cullen

        My point was more that if there WAS a job that he would break loyalty for it would be Indiana.

  • Nugman

    Trade Shaw to Indiana for anything you can get

  • Nugman

    I suppose the warriors are going to want shaw now too? Get real! No team is going to want Shaw after they saw him coach this season. The Nuggets are stuck with him until they fire him.

  • Len Nunes

    thoughts…Hibbert for McGee?

    • Nugman

      Shaw for Hibbert

    • alex47666

      God, no I would rather keep mcgee thank you