Luke Walton isn’t the only ex-Laker set to rejoin the party next season. The 36-year-old Walton will take over as head coach next season, and he’s in the process of filling out his staff. The Los Angeles Times‘ Brad Turner is reporting that Walton and the Lakers are close to a deal to bring on Brian Shaw, a Phil Jackson favorite who was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Walton played for the Lakers in the mid-2000s.
Shaw got a shot as a head coach in Denver from 2013 to 2015, and it was a disaster — by the time he was fired in his second season, his players had openly quit on him, and his tenure with the Nuggets is most famous for a viral video of Shaw rapping the playbook in the locker room in an attempt to relate to the younger players on the team.
But Shaw is well-respected in coaching circles, and he’s had success as an assistant in Los Angeles and Indiana before. His name was kicked around earlier this year as a potential candidate for the Knicks job (recently filled by Jeff Hornacek) given his ties to Jackson. His hire as an assistant with the Lakers is certainly not going to quiet rumblings that Jackson is headed back to the west coast after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.