Brian Shaw learned of fate from TV
Brian Shaw, the former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach once thought by many to be the heir apparent to Phil Jackson, said the way he learned he didn't get the job to replace Jackson was by hearing about it on TV.
Shaw, in an interview with Andy and Brian Kamenetzky on "The Mason & Ireland Show" on 710 ESPN Radio on Friday, said he first learned that Mike Brown had been hired as the Lakers coach during a television interview with Brown on ESPN at halftime of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
Mason & Ireland
Former Lakers assistant and new associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers, Brian Shaw says he found out he wasn't getting the Lakers gig when he saw ESPN announce Mike Brown's hiring. He talks about communication problems in the Lakers organization, the dismissal of Ronnie Lester, his relationship with Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak, and more.
"I wasn't really told anything," said Shaw, who had the public backing of players Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, among others, to take over for Jackson. "Unfortunately, I found about not getting the job and who was hired for the job on ESPN. I didn't really talk to anyone for about three weeks after that."
Just this week, Shaw was hired by the Indiana Pacers to be their associate head coach. He will work alongside Pacers coach Frank Vogel, a man he knows from their days on the Lakers staff together during the 2005-06 season.
Still, Shaw said initially he was very disappointed upon hearing he wouldn't be coaching the Lakers, acknowledging it was something he had set his sights on.
"At that point, all the speculation and what I've heard, the powers making those decisions felt like the team needed a change of culture and a new voice, and head in a new direction," Shaw said. "I thought that was kind of peculiar because in the 12 years I'd been there, all we had done was gone to the championship seven times and won five championships. I felt like there were 29 other teams in the league that would love to have that kind of culture and that kind of direction. ... But I didn't expect anything to be handed to me."
Shaw said despite his disappointment, he also understands the nature of the business and that it was time to move on.
Still, Shaw said it would have be nice to have been treated just a little differently.
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"For whatever reason, there was a glitch in communication. ... I've always had a great relationship and open line of communication with (general manager) Mitch Kupchak so I don't think it came from there," Shaw said. "We've always been on good terms and are still on good terms. I understand in his position there's only so much that he can do even. He has people over his head that he has to follow directions. ... Definitely there's some room for improvement in terms of how ... people are dealt with."
Shaw said he has since spoken to Kupchak, and that Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss left him a voicemail, which Shaw appreciated. He said he has not spoken to Jim Buss, the team's executive vice president of player personnel, since interviewing for the position, though Shaw added he didn't have much of a relationship with Buss to start with.
"That's not really fair to say if we had a good relationship or not," Shaw said. "There wasn't really much of a relationship just because we weren't around each other a whole lot."
Shaw said he would have appreciated a call letting him know he wasn't going to be hired, simply for the opportunity to gain feedback on where he might have gone wrong in the interview process.
"I didn't get that opportunity," Shaw said. "So I just keep my head up and continue to move forward."