Sports Out West

Ex Lakers champ Brian Shaw gets his due with Nuggets

Photo Credit: The White House Office of the Press Secretary

Former Los Angeles Lakers champion Brian Shaw will finally get the job he deserves as the next heat coach of the Denver Nuggets, the Denver Post reported on Monday. 

As he’s done his entire career, the NBA’s newest first-time head coach was gracious in his acceptance.

“I can’t express my appreciation enough,” Shaw told The Denver Post by phone Monday evening. “It’s been a grind to say the least, but I’m just very appreciative of the opportunity to lead this team. … It’s been years, 11-12 interviews I’ve gone through. And I’ve felt I’ve been prepared by the best of the best. You know, everything that’s worth something, a lot of times you have to wait for it. I feel like I’ve waited and paid my dues.

He’s paid more than his share of dues, and it’s about time someone recognized him as a viable candidate to lead a team. 

Shaw had been the associate head coach for the Indiana Pacers under head coach Frank Vogel for the last two seasons. The 47-year-old was on the Lakers’ bench for six seasons prior to that. But the man known as “B-Shaw” to many of his former teammates will best be remembered around Laker-land as a key role player on the Lakers’ first three championships in the Phil Jackson era. 

As one of the most highly-regarded assistants in the NBA over the last several years, it was only a matter of if, not when, Shaw would get his opportunity. He was consistently mentioned for every head coaching vacancy this offseason, and now the Nuggets will get to see first-hand why. 

As a Bay Area native and product of UC Santa Barbara, the West Coast is an area of familiarity for Shaw, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does at altitude with his new, young squad. The Nuggets are stacked with talent and poised to be a formidable challenge for all comers come playoff time. 

Photo Credit: White House Office of the Press Secretary

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.