At this point, it should be one of the Lakers worst kept secretes. Since taking a seat next to Phil five years ago, Brain Shaw’s been groomed as a possible heir apparent. With Phil Jackson’s career coming to a possible end (whether it be this season, or two seasons from now), we’re all wondering if Shaw is ready.
New York Times: In a pivotal moment of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2009 title run, Brian Shaw drew a blank, literally and deliberately, with a hint of creative mischief.
The Lakers had a 3-1 lead in the N.B.A. finals and gathered for one last meeting before Game 5 in Orlando. Shaw, the Lakers’ youngest assistant coach, was the designated strategist for the series, charged with diagramming plays and underlining directives on a dry-erase board. Except on this night, when Shaw flipped the board around, it was shiny and blank.
Players stared. Coach Phil Jackson was puzzled.
“You don’t have anything on the board?” Jackson asked.
No, Shaw did not. The time for X’s and O’s and meticulously drawn halfcourt sets, he believed, had passed. Instead, Shaw talked about Pau Gasol’s passion, Kobe Bryant’s dynamism and Lamar Odom’s versatility, until he had gone through the lineup and roused every ounce of belief in the room.
Then the Lakers went out and crushed the Magic and claimed the championship.