When Phil Jackson retired from coaching following the 2011 season, many believed that Brian Shaw was a logical choice to be next in line for the head coaching job in Los Angeles.
Shaw played for and was an assistant coach under Jackson, and had been endorsed by both his former boss and Lakers star Kobe Bryant as a fine choice to fill the position.
But the franchise went in another ultimately poor direction, hiring Mike Brown for a short and ill-fated run that lasted barely more than a single season. Ownership at the time wanted to distance itself from Jackson as part of an internal power struggle, which meant Shaw had zero chance of ever patrolling the sidelines there.
Despite how things ended, Shaw, now entering his first season as head coach of the Denver Nuggets, says he has no regrets.
“Regardless of how it ended, I don’t have any regrets,” Shaw said. “Those were some of the best times that I experienced. I will always cherish them.”
Asked if there were any hard feelings lingering now, two years after being passed over for the head coaching job with the Lakers after Jackson’s retirement in 2011, Shaw said: “No, no. You know, it’s the nature of the business. I found that out pretty quickly. I preach to our players to get on to the next play; let that last play go, and I try to do the same thing, too. Every decision is not my decision. It’s not going to work out the way I want it to work out. So I’ve just got to move on.”
Oddly enough, the Lakers weren’t the only ones who wanted nothing to do with Jackson or his systems. Shaw repeatedly had problems landing a head coaching gig after interviewing with multiple teams due to his association with Jackson and the Triangle offense he ran for so many years.