The Los Angeles Clippers got their top choice at head coach on Sunday when they acquired Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics, leaving top candidates Byron Scott and Brian Shaw without a place to hang their clipboards.
Both Shaw and Scott were frontrunners to get the job if the Rivers situation didn’t materialize, and both were seemingly good fits with ties to the city of Los Angeles. Shaw is a former champion as a player and a coach stemming from his days with the Los Angeles Lakers while Scott is an L.A. native and also won championships with the Lakers.
That kind of winning pedigree is hard to find, which is why the Clippers gave each of them serious consideration. But what’s next?
According to the Denver Post, the Denver Nuggets would be remiss not to hire Shaw and are still giving him careful consideration. He is currently the associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers. With him on the sidelines, the Pacers have won three playoff series. He got a ringing endorsement from Pacers executive Donnie Walsh, whose experience and reputation carries a lot of weight around the league. If he believes Shaw should be a head coach, then it’s only a matter of if, not when, he gets an opportunity.
In fact, the fear around Denver is that if the Nuggets wait too long to hire him, they’ll be late.
Photo Credit: Schroder + Schlombs / Flickr
And then there’s Scott, who as recently as Sunday, was speaking with Clippers brass about numbers and looked to be in line to take over for ousted head coach Vinny Del Negro. Scott and superstar soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul have a strong relationship from their days as player and coach with the New Orleans Hornets, so the fit was there. Now, Scott’s best chance to return to the head coaching ranks may have taken a serious hit.
As of now, the Memphis Grizzlies, Celtics and Nuggets are the three best openings, and Scott may be the odd man out with Lionel Hollins, George Karl and Shaw still out there.
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