If Phil Jackson Retires, Brian Shaw Will Be Next For The Lakers

June 24, 2010 – 1:25 am by Ryan Phillips

By now we’ve all heard the reports bubbling up from all over the internet concerning Phil Jackson’s future. The 64-year-old head coach has said he is “leaning towards retiring” but hasn’t made up his mind just yet.

If Jackson does, in fact, decide to retire, his replacement is already on the Lakers bench. Assistant coach Brian Shaw will take the reins whenever Jackson is no longer the head man in Laker Land. Bank on it.

Shaw played his final four seasons for the Lakers before retiring and taking a job as a Bay Area scout for the franchise in 2003. And for the last six year (starting with the 2004-05 season), Shaw has been an assistant coach for the team, essentially acting as Jackson’s understudy.

If you talk to anyone close to the team you’ll be told that Shaw was rumored to be Jackson’s successor as early as three years ago. Apparently the 44-year-old former guard has an incredible basketball mind and will be a head coach in the NBA sooner or later. Shaw would obviously love for that opportunity to come with the Lakers.

There’s a reason Shaw’s name hasn’t popped up for serious consideration elsewhere: He knows Jackson will be done soon and he knows the Lakers job will be his when the Zen Master walks away.

Longtime Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis probably thought the job was going to be his for years. Obviously he saw the writing on the wall concerning Shaw and took the head coaching job with the Minnesota Timberwolves following the 2008-09 season.

People within the Lakers organization are extremely high on Shaw and so are the players. While Byron Scott’s name gets thrown around a lot concerning the team’s potential coaching vacancy, don’t believe the hype. Shaw would keep continuity in Laker Land and that’s as important as anything when you’ve got a championship team returning.

Kobe Bryant has said he wants Phil to be back. Not a big surprise there. But Bryant, Pau Gasol and co. know Shaw well.

Shaw won three NBA titles with the Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002) and has been an integral part of the coaching staff during the past two title runs. So the guy has five rings. That means he knows championship basketball and brings that credibility to the table.

One important factor to remember is that Shaw has only been an assistant under Phil Jackson. That means that Jackson has molded him as a coach. Therefore you would have to assume the Zen Master would be on board with Shaw’s hiring.

If Jackson does indeed retire, you’d have to assume that he won’t go away completely. He’ll still have some sort of attachment to the Lakers organization and will still be in touch with his former players and assistants. Obviously having them all in the same place and on the same page would be a big plus for the franchise.

So if Jackson does retire, Brian Shaw will be the Lakers head coach next year.

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  1. 13 Responses to “If Phil Jackson Retires, Brian Shaw Will Be Next For The Lakers”

  2. My gut tells me Phil will be back and that all this talk of retirement is simply posturing. Dr. Buss wants Phil to take a significant paycut which Phil is unwilling to do.

    PJ is just playing his typical media games to influence his eventual contract negotiations. Phil is operating from the position of strength here with Kobe, Jeannie Buss (the boss’s daughter, and team leader Derek Fisher all calling for his return – not to mention the whole back-to-back titles argument. Jerry Buss will eventually cave in and give Phil a 1-year deal at last season’s salary.

    By Antwan on Jun 24, 2010

  3. kobe he runs the team anyway

    By cooldude on Jun 24, 2010

  4. who ever coaches the lakers,will take them to the promised land again….they are that good…..

    By frankie on Jun 24, 2010

  5. Anyone!!! Heck I could or possibly my 5yr old. Most overrated coach in history of the game. If he is so good why doesnt he take over the clippers! Jordan was going to win championships regardless of the coach and the same can be said for Kobe and Shaq. His Zen bullshit wouldnt win with lesser talent. Don’t be suprised if he retires and then un-retires to coach whatever team Lebron chooses. Didnt see him sticking around when Jordan called it quits.

    By steve on Jun 25, 2010

  6. what about coach k.

    By ron on Jun 25, 2010

  7. PJ is the greatest coach period. None of those players won anything before Phil Jackson coached them. And only one, Shaq won once without him. Say what you will but championships rings tell the tale. As for the previous poster Steve he made them all better players and most importantly team players.

    By Chris on Jun 25, 2010

  8. Byron Scott

    By Fizz on Jun 25, 2010

  9. There are several outstanding coaches who can do the job, but they have to be strong enough to get Kobe to follow their program. Also the team keeps getting weaker at guard and the team is cutting back on salaries so unless Bynum improves and stays 100% healthy they won’t repeat. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to work a trade using Odom to cut payroll and get a good young guard.

    By Rude on Jun 25, 2010

  10. ted tollner

    By chovi on Jun 25, 2010

  11. No one could ever “replace him” but they could get another coach

    By jess88 on Jun 25, 2010

  12. A piece of wood

    He coached with Jordan & Pippen and instead of going to a team that he had to try to re-build, he goes to the Lakers with Shaq & Kobe.

    He is getting the awards without earning them as a real coach!!

    By Michael Dunn on Jun 25, 2010

  13. WOW, Steve, you are a moron…….The most overrated coach in history has more titles then Red Auerbach…….You need to do some soul searching

    By Todd on Jun 25, 2010

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