Brian Shaw: ‘Wasn’t Successful At Connecting With Them’

Earlier this year, Brian Shaw was trying to figure out a way to relate to his Denver Nuggets players and keep the team together during a difficult time. The Nuggets had experienced a series of injuries and had just traded starting center Timofey Mozgov to the Cleveland Cavaliers for draft picks, which is code red for rebuilding mode.

So, Shaw decided to rap his pre-game scouting report and instructions to his players.

“When I did that, it was a reach to try and do anything I could to try to connect and get the guys going, and obviously that didn’t work,” Shaw said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “So I think I’m going to leave the rapping on the shelf and leave that to the guys who get paid to rap.”

Denver fired Shaw, 49, on March 3. He went 56-85 (.397) in less than two seasons with the Nuggets. Now an NBA TV analyst, Shaw, who won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers – three as a player, two as a coach – is hoping for another coaching opportunity in the NBA.

“Yeah, I’d love to,” he said. “Obviously it wasn’t a great situation for me (in Denver) and it didn’t work out, but I love the game. It’s weird for me right now because this is my first time in 27 years that I’ve kind of had a lapse in working in the NBA – from the time I got drafted in 1988, played all the way through to retiring in 2003 and started coaching in 2004. Obviously I love the game and would love another opportunity to get out there and give it another shot.”

Shaw played for seven NBA teams during his career and was an assistant in Los Angeles from 2005 to 2011 and Indiana from 2011 to 2013. He’s been a part of some of the best teams in the league from the last quarter of a century, and he hopes to be a part of many more in the coming years.

Shaw was asked if his approach would be any different at his next head-coaching gig.

“Well, I’m always going to stay true to who I am,” he said. “It’s just a different time. It’s a different day and age. These players – it’s not on the players. I understand when things don’t work out, it’s on the coach. But I don’t know strategically if I would do anything different. I just have to do a better job of understanding where the players are coming from today – because it’s different than it was when I played and even up to the point when I stated coaching. This is really the first time that I wasn’t successful at connecting with a group of guys. I’ll just have to do a better job of doing that.”

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