Shaw Tries To Bring Stability To Nuggets


LAS VEGAS – This is instability?


Give Brian Shaw a minute. He needs to break out laughing.

“There’s instability and there’s dysfunction that I’ve been a part of and through all of that stuff,” he said. “To me, this is nothing. Change happens.”

Well, it’s something. And change may happen, except that this is really a lot of change all at once for the Nuggets. Masai Ujiri is gone as head of basketball operations and replaced by Tim Connelly. Coach George Karl gone after being named Coach of the Year and replaced by Shaw. Lastly, superstar Andre Igoudala is gone from the roster and truly replaced by nobody. Denver has fallen face-first into an unwanted transition in the aftermath of a 57-win season, albeit followed by a first-round playoff loss.

summer-league-logoBut Shaw played for the Lakers when Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant were standing back to back and counting off 40 paces. He was an assistant coach for the Lakers under Phil Jackson, a man who looked at locker-room tension as a sociology experiment. Shaw knows turbulence.

Whatever Shaw’s primary qualifications to get the Nuggets job, and there are many, it doesn’t hurt that few can rival his experience in dealing with drama. There will be a learning curve as a first-time coach, just not an uncertainty on how to handle the hectic offseason, beginning with Summer League and continuing into a question-filled training camp.

“Life is unpredictable and you just have to be ready for whatever it is that you have to face,” he said. “Nothing is insurmountable and in this business you’re going to see some crazy things. I think for me, I have a steadying hand. I have to be calm. If I’m nervous and I’m looking like I’m not confident about what’s going on, it’s going to trickle down to the team. I’m laid back by nature, so I just want to exhibit that calmness and not get too high or not get too low.”

His background will be a plus, in other words, in more ways than 14 seasons as a player and eight as an assistant with the Lakers and Pacers.

“I don’t think that that happens overnight,” Shaw said of bringing stability. “Naturally they should feel a little shaken because they have a new general manager, a new coach, a new assistant general manager. One of the best players, if not the best player on the team, is gone now as well. So the reality of the situation is there has been a lot of change. But what I think it’s my job to do is to try to simplify everything so that they can just concentrate on playing the game and understand that with all those changes being made, the guys that are here are the guys that are going to be counted on and to give them confidence in that.”

Shaw will also contend with the other roster absence, the knee injury that the Nuggets say is expected to keep Danilo Gallinari out until near midseason. Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reported last month Gallinari could be back by December, but Shaw said he has not been given any update by the medical staff.


  1. jmac32 says:

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  2. chitown says:

    At least the Nuggets still have Ty Lawson, Kennett Faried, and Javale McGee. But losing Corey Brewer was big. He was their best SG. And they will have to wait for Danilo Galinari to come back from his injury. I think Denver makes the playoffs as 7-8 seed, maybe even 6th.

  3. eyo says:

    I think they will make the playoffs like they always do, but cant get threw the first round.

  4. J says:

    they’ll be solid but nowhere near 57 wins they might struggle to make the playoffs

  5. Spire says:

    Calling Igoudala a superstar..please. Good riddance. Those who actually watched Nuggets games will be glad to see him gone.

  6. Bob says:

    Change happens, but it isn’t always a good change. Denver has a lot of really young players and lost a great player in free agency. I see the need for a big scorer and a much better half court game. When the playoffs hit, the game slowed down, and it wasn’t good. The roster took a big hit with Iggy going to Cali. It will be pretty interesting to watch this develop. Brian Shaw has great experience in the NBA. I think he will do well in his first year, but………… talent wins games. You need a Tim Duncan or LeBron type of player to be a contender.

  7. Brian Vaughns says:

    I do think Brian Shaw will have the ability to handle any anxiety that may arise from the current situation in Denver. As stated change is inevitable in the NBA just any player or coach for that matter. Change can be good or bad it depends on the supporting cast to make sure that change is positive. As a former teammate of B. Shaw and a current coach let the cards fall where they may and allow him the chance to get the job done. It should be noted that stability is closely related to longevity.