Former Lakers player and assistant coach Brian Shaw has been hired as the head coach of the new G League “professional pathway” team in Los Angeles, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Shaw most recently worked as a Lakers assistant coach under Luke Walton before that whole staff (with the exception of Miles Simon) was fired at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.
Shaw won five rings with the Lakers (three as part of the threepeat teams with Shaq and Kobe, and two as an assistant under Phil Jackson) before becoming an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers (under now-Lakers head coach Frank Vogel).
Shaw was later given his first and only previous shot as a professional head coach with the Denver Nuggets, where he went 56-85 over two seasons before being fired after the locker room seemingly gave up on him when his efforts to relate to them by rapping scouting reports and reading books on how to communicate with millennials shockingly did not galvanize the team.
Shaw even getting this job is something of an upset in itself. Former Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors head coach (and single-coverage enthusiast) Sam Mitchell had been the favorite for the opening, even referring to the team as “we” in interviews. Evidently that fell apart on one side or another, though, and now Shaw has won out and gotten this gig.
In his first coaching job since leaving the Lakers, Shaw will be charged with developing a variety of promising young basketball prospects, from possible 2021 No. 1 pick Jalen Green to other prominent recruits like Isaiah Todd, former UCLA commit Daishen Nix and 7’2 Kai Sotto, a promising and highly recruited center from the Philippines.
Obviously whatever form the season takes isn’t completely set in stone amidst all the uncertain projections the coronavirus pandemic has created, but if the G League season is played, this select team under Shaw will reportedly mostly play exhibition games against other G League teams as its players adjust to the professional ranks. And with a team of mostly teenagers, the time until then will give Shaw plenty of time to dust off those books or pick up some new ones on talking to Zoomers.