Brian Shaw was fired as head coach of the Nuggets on Tuesday, which didn’t exactly come as a complete surprise.
The team was in a complete tailspin, having won just twice in its last 21 games, and with the players publicly counting down the days left in the rest of their miserable regular season, it was clear that Shaw had lost the locker room, which left the organization no choice.
But many believe the problems in Denver go well beyond the head coach — and that includes a prominent member of the Indiana Pacers.
From Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports:
Pacers were in practice when news of B-Shaw being fired came out. All very aware of the news, guys that were here with him were upset.
David West on Brian Shaw being fired: “That’s bullsh-t. No grownups on the roster. You can’t win without grownups.”
There is certainly a complete lack of strong veteran voices (like West’s) in the Denver locker room, and it’s true that the way the roster was constructed was flawed from the very start.
But a head coach needs to command respect and be able to motivate players under a variety of scenarios and circumstances, and with reports emerging that Shaw clashed with Ty Lawson (and resorted to silly stunts to try to get the players’ attention), it’s clear he wasn’t yet ready to properly handle all of the head coaching position’s tricky responsibilities.
Shaw was an assistant coach with the Pacers before landing the head coaching job in Denver, which explains why West so quickly came to his defense.