Posted June 25, 2013

Nuggets hire Pacers assistant Brian Shaw as coach

Ben Golliver, Brian Shaw, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers
(Sun Sentinel/Getty Images)

Brian Shaw will get his first crack at a head coaching job with the Nuggets. (Sun Sentinel/Getty Images)

The Nuggets have hired Pacers assistant Brian Shaw as their next head coach.

The Denver Post first reported Monday that Shaw would step into the hole created when the Nuggets fired former coach George Karl earlier this month. The Nuggets formally announced Shaw’s hiring on Tuesday.

“Through his experiences as a player and a coach, Brian has a proven track record of success,” Nuggets GM Tim Connelly said in a statement. “He has been around some of the greatest players in NBA history and studied highly respected coaching styles with both L.A. and Indiana.”

Shaw, 47, has never served as a head coach previously but has been linked to a number of coaching positions in recent years, including the Nets and Clippers this summer and the Bobcats and Magic last summer. Previously, he was seen as a possible replacement for Phil Jackson with the Lakers but the job eventually went to Mike Brown. Shaw served as an assistant under Jackson from 2005 to 2011 before moving to Frank Vogel’s bench in Indiana for the 2011-12 season.

“I appreciate the opportunity that the Kroenke family, general manager Tim Connelly and the entire Nuggets organization have given me,” Shaw said. “Josh has built a quality team and front office and I look forward to joining that nucleus. It’s a talented roster with a great foundation.”

A first-round pick in 1988, Shaw played 14 years with the Celtics, Heat, Magic, Warriors, Sixers, Blazers, and Lakers. He won three titles with the Lakers as a player from 2000 to 2002 and two more as an assistant in 2009 and 2010 under Jackson.

The Denver Post reports that Shaw has no plans to implement Jackson’s famous “Triangle Offense” in Denver.

“Although I played in the triangle and coached the triangle, I also played in a lot of systems, so that’s not something I’m looking to bring to the Nuggets and try to implement,” Shaw said.”I’m going to look at a lot of film of things the team did well, running was one of them. And I’ll continue to build on things they did well and get more of a feel for the personnel and what I think will be conducive to everybody’s ability.”

The hiring marks the end of the heavy lifting for the Nuggets, whose basketball operations department has been overhauled this summer. Karl, voted 2013 Coach of the Year, is out after leading the Nuggets to nine postseason appearances during his nine seasons in Denver, highlighted by a run to the Western Conference finals in 2009. The other eight seasons ended with a first-round exit. Masai Ujiri, voted the 2013 Executive of the Year, is also out, leaving Denver to return to Toronto. In Ujiri’s place, the Nuggets recently hired Connelly, a first-time GM who previously served as an assistant GM with the Pelicans. Former Nuggets executive Pete D’Alessandro was also hired by the Kings to serve as GM.

Shaw joins a long list of first-time head coaches hired this summer: former Knicks guard Jason Kidd is now the coach of the Nets, Lakers assistant Steve Clifford is now the coach of the Bobcats, Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer is now the coach of the Hawks, Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek is now the coach of the Suns and Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone is now the coach of the Kings.

The Pacers went 49-32 last season — qualifying for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference — and were eliminated by the Heat in a tense, seven-game Eastern Conference finals series.

The Nuggets went 57-25 — their best record since joining the NBA — and secured the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference before being upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Warriors.


Hey all I can say is be thankful for this coach. We got Mike Brown, so it can be worse. I really think Brian Shaw will be an excellent coach. I was hoping we (Cavs) could get him. Cavs are banking on Mike Brown bringing back 60+ wins like when LBJ was there. It's not happening, LBJ is not there. We'll see how far he goes now. You all have a good coach in Brian Shaw, be thankful, it can be a lot worse.

David G
David G

Rumor has it Shaw is thinking about Bernie Bickerstaff (sp) as an assistant.  Might be fired before he gets to coach a single game if he attempts to hire that person.  Bernie did more damage to the Nuggets than anyone every has.  The fans would turn on Shaw in an instant.


Shaw got the Nuggets job the same way he stayed in the league for 14 years, despite being a 40% career shooter who rarely played more than 20 minutes - by being cheap. What some are calling a "youth movement" by the Nuggets is in fact simply a cheap way to put together a front office. Stan Kroenke is a businessman first and sports fan second. No team he owns has won a title. But they are all profitable. The smart business move Stan made was to marry the daughter of Sam Walton - thus making him rich enough to buy these teams. It will be interesting to see how long Colorado fans continue to pay for mediocrity.


In the mentally retarded world of the NBA where coaches like Greg Popovich would rather give up 3 point plays then 2 point foul shots and give the opposing Coach just what he'd wish for, players who instead of using $2 condoms would rather pay millions in Child Support, Denver fires a Hall of Fame Coach and replaces him with someone who's never been a Head Coach. Yeah baby!