It appears that the first step in filling out Luke Walton’s coaching staff has been taken. After reports that Brian Shaw was nearing a deal to join the Lakers once again, the former Phil Jackson assistant confirmed the reports in an appearance on 957 the game. (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll)
Brian Shaw on the show “It’s true (I am joining Lakers coaching staff) at this point just finalizing the last details of the contract.”
— Guy Haberman (@GuyHaberman) May 25, 2016
This is certainly not surprising. Since Walton was hired as the next head coach of the Lakers, Shaw’s name has come up in numerous reports regarding his interest in rejoining the team he played on and coached for several years. Shaw did admit interest in replacing Walton in Golden State but perhaps the Warriors were unwilling to offer a job to the former Pacers assistant or Shaw wanted security and opted to take the first offer given to him.
As for Shaw’s role in Los Angeles, it appears that he was offered a job quickly in order to act as a proxy during draft workouts (starting next week) in Walton’s absence. With the Warriors now down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals, that role may be diminished as Luke could join the team sooner than expected.
Shaw’s reputation was tarnished to an extent as the head coach of the Denver Nuggets. In his two seasons in Denver, Shaw struggled to connect with a young team and his rapping of scouting reports and reading of millenial connection books are now well-known and well-mocked. That reputation is somewhat worrying considering the young core of the Lakers.
Nevertheless, Shaw has been immensely revered as an assistant coach both in Los Angeles and in Denver. In some of those instances, he helped coach young teams and varying characters. Most importantly, Shaw is the coach Walton had his eyes on as soon as he accepted the job. Giving the young head coach an experienced assistant who has already created a great relationship with him seems like a smart move for the Lakers.