Posted June 25, 2013

Nuggets hire Brian Shaw as head coach, according to report

Brian Shaw is reportedly the Nuggets' new head coach. (Nathaniel S. Butler/National Basketball)

Brian Shaw is reportedly the Nuggets’ new head coach. (Nathaniel S. Butler/National Basketball)

The Denver Nuggets have hired Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw to be their next head coach, according to a report from The Denver Post’s Benjamin Hochman. Shaw confirmed the report, telling Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears that he “appreciate[s] the opportunity.”

Shaw will succeed George Karl, who the Nuggets fired earlier this month. The news is a long time coming for Shaw, who has long been considered as a rising star in the assistant-coaching ranks.

Before joining the Pacers in 2011, Shaw was an assistant in Los Angeles with the Lakers, where he worked under the legendary Phil Jackson. He was considered for the Lakers job after Jackson’s retirement but was ultimately passed over for Mike Brown.

In his first head job, Shaw takes over a team that won 57 games under Karl, who was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for his performance. The Nuggets are loaded with talent, including 25-year-old point guard Ty Lawson, 29-year-old shooting guard Andre Iguodala, 26-year-old guard Wilson Chandler, and 23-year-old forward Kenneth Faried.

The Nuggets ultimately lost in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, in a six-game defeat to the Golden State Warriors.

Shaw was also reportedly being considered for both the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets openings.


First of all, Iggy is as good as gone.  The Nuggets are in 'economy mode,' and expensive free agents are for teams seeking rings.  Even lower tier stars, such as Igoudala, seem out of reach.  Nope, the Kroenkes have mastered the art of keeping their teams stocked with young, unproven talent, the best of which leaves, come contract time.

Masai Ujiri was walked with nothing other than baby Josh's best effort to convince him that $1 million/year is superior to $3 million/year.  Ujiri's replacement, Tim Connelly, is 36 and, with the great job he did in New Orleans as his major resume-padder, had to come dirt-cheap.  A team offering a fairly exclusive coaching opportunity can find an assistant more interested in getting an NBA head coaching job, than salary.

Bottom line:  "YESSS!!!"  There is absolutely no sense in spending a bunch of money on front office and coaching talent when winning isn't the object of the Kroenke's game.  45-50 win seasons, followed by one-and-done playoff bow-outs, sell enough tickets and also insure not having to spend ''too much'' money on draft picks...the difference between a top three pick and a bottom third pick adds up, over time!

How exciting it is, to follow a team that's consistently rebuilding and losing it's best players.  Sure, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn, if it keeps scratching long enough...alas, the Kroenkes 20/20 vision is aimed at the bottom line.  They'll leave the championships to owners who also wouldn't mind making money, but are more motivated by winning.