Brian Shaw is a lot more than a guy who coaches the triangle

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Lakers assistant Brian Shaw is all over the place now. Interviewed in Houston, will get interviewed for Golden State, and of course is at the front of the line for the Lakers gig.

Soon, somewhere, he is going to be an NBA head coach.

On of the best bits of reporting this week came in a feature from ESPN’s Arash Markazi talking about the most trying time in Shaw’s life. Shaw had bought his parents a car and a second home in Las Vegas, and his father, mother, sister and young niece were driving out there.

When the phone rang at 8:30 the next morning, Brian Shaw got up slowly, looked at the clock and answered the phone. It was about a 10-hour drive from Oakland to Las Vegas, and Shaw was certain he would hear his father’s voice on the other end of the line.

“It was the coroner’s office saying they had gotten into a car accident,” Shaw said, still struggling with the words nearly 18 years later.

According to reports, the Nevada Highway Patrol would conclude that Charles, 52, fell asleep at the wheel at about 5:15 a.m. on Interstate 15, just 9 miles from Las Vegas. The car hit the center divider and rolled, ejecting Charles; Barbara, 51; Monica, 24; and Brianna. Barbara and Monica died at the scene of the accident. Charles died from his injuries about an hour later at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Brianna, who was riding in a child-restraint seat, survived, but was hospitalized with a ruptured spleen and facial lacerations.

“I felt like I was in a bad dream,” Shaw said. “Like I was in a nightmare and I was going to wake up and everything was going to be fine again.”

Like any of us would, Shaw beats himself up over the incident, even though it was not his fault.

We all to often talk about players, coaches and more in an impersonal way. They are part of a fantasy team or just the guy we see on television. They guy that helped our team succeed or stood in their way.

But they are all human being who struggle with the same issues and challenges we all do. Some with horrific loss. Yes, they have been blessed with athletic gifts and get to make a lot of money playing a game, but that doesn’t make losing your family feel any different.

Go read the whole piece. You’ll come away rooting for Brian Shaw (at least a little bit).

Watch Michael Jordan’s best highlight from each of his playoff runs (video)

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I’ve become a sucker for this highlight format.

Jazz deny rumored promise to draft D.J. Wilson

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Michigan forward D.J. Wilson said he’d stay in the draft only if he’d go in the first round. Yet, despite not doing any on-court work at the combine, the borderline first-rounder remained in the draft beyond the withdrawal deadline.

What gives?

Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune:

NBA teams sometimes promise to draft a player. They never reveal that before the draft. So, Utah’s denial doesn’t mean much – even if it’s true.

The Jazz were the last team to give Wilson a full work out before he injured himself in a Spurs workout. So, this rumor could be based on circumstantial evidence rather than leak of a Utah guarantee.

Wilson would make sense for the Jazz, who could see their payroll bloat if they re-sign Gordon Hayward and George Hill (and maybe even Joe Ingles). They could move Derrick Favors, an interior who doesn’t exactly fit with Rudy Gobert. Wilson would give Utah another option with Trey Lyles as developing stretch fours behind Boris Diaw. (Utah could even move Diaw and count on Lyles/Wilson to emerge sooner than later.)

Watch LeBron James’ top highlight from each of his postseason appearances (video)

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LeBron James and Tony Parker are the only players to play in the last dozen postseasons.

(If you’re wondering, Manu Ginobili missed the 2009 playoffs due to an ankle injury.)

It’s fair to say LeBron was a bit more spectacular than Parker in that span. As LeBron enters his seventh straight Finals, the NBA released this awesome video showing LeBron’s best playoff highlight from each year:

There’s no entry for this year. Here’s betting it comes against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

David Stern: We thought we could re-work Chris Paul-to-Lakers trade until Mitch Kupchak ‘panicked’

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NBA commissioner David Stern – acting as New Orleans’ owner representative, he says – infamously vetoed a potential Chris Paul-to-Lakers trade in 2011.

But that didn’t close the possibility of Paul going to the Lakers.

The New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans and not be confused with the current Charlotte Hornets), Lakers and Rockets tried to rework the three-team trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to Houston and Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to New Orleans. But talks fell apart around the time the Lakers dealt Odom to the Mavericks.

Stern on Nunyo & Company (hat tip: Harrison Feigen of Silver Screen & Roll):

In fact, in the course of the weekend, we thought we could re-do the deal. We really thought that Houston would be ready to part with Kevin Lowry, and we had a trade lined up for Odom that would have gotten us a good first-round draft pick – not we, but my basketball folks. But Mitch Kupchak at the time panicked and moved Odom to Dallas. So the piece wasn’t even there for us to play with at the time. So that was it — just about what was good for the then-New Orleans Hornets.

Remember, Stern – roundly criticized for his handling of this episode* – has blamed the Lakers and Rockets for the lingering perception. This could just be him again trying to shift responsibility.

*Somewhat fairly, somewhat not. Owners veto general manager-approved trades often enough, and Stern was acting as New Orleans’ owner after George Shinn sold the franchise back to the league. But Stern had an agenda as commissioner. He never should have assumed such a large conflict of interest. What he did with the Paul trade was reasonable for an acting owner, but because Stern was also commissioner, it’s fair to question how much New Orleans’ interests and how much the league’s interests factored into the decision-making.

But let’s take Stern at his word – that he and the Hornets thought they could re-do the trade and send Paul to the Lakers. That doesn’t mean they were right. Maybe the Lakers and Rockets (who had Kyle Lowry, not the “Kevin Lowry” Stern named) were never going to part with enough to get Stern’s approval.

And maybe New Orleans didn’t properly convey its interest in still completing a deal. Perhaps, Kupchak acted reasonably by trading Odom to Dallas – for a first-round pick, a deal Mark Cuban would ultimately regret – rather than wait around for the Hornets, who eventually sent Paul to the Clippers.

It’s easy to blame Kupchak, but he might tell a different story.