Brian Shaw’s coaching philosophy is all about keeping it real
MANILA, Philippines—Brian Shaw always held that mentor role in his career, be it as an active player or an assistant coach.
He wasn’t a star by all means with his biggest individual accomplishment being named to the 1989 All-Rookie Team, but it was his selfless act that made him an NBA three-time champion.
Now the coach of the NBA G League Select Team, Shaw said that he’s embarking on a new journey in his coaching career but all that starts the same way and that’s “keeping it real.”
“With the players I’ve coached, there’s always been this mutual respect and I always keep it real with them,” said Shaw during a Zoom press conference for NBA Republika Playoffs Thursday.
“I tell them the truth whether they like to hear it or not but they respect me for that.”
Shaw was already a close voice to Shaquille O’Neal from 1994 to 1996 in Orlando despite being just six years older than the fun-loving center.
He then had the same role when he was reunited with O’Neal and became a teammate of Kobe Bryant’s in Los Angeles during the Lakers’ three-peat run from 2000 to 2002.
Becoming that calming and mature voice, however, stemmed from a difficult start to his NBA career.
Shaw was the death of a close friend and teammate of Reggie Lewis in 1993, changing his life forever.
“In the 32 years that I’ve been in the NBA, I’ve experienced a lot of things from death and dying in my family and with my teammates like Reggie Lewis in Boston,” said Shaw. “I’ve been involved with it one way or another and when I share stories they [the players] feel that it’s real and that I’m not just saying this or that.”
“I’ve experienced it [my stories] and it makes me establish a better relationship with them.”
Shaw said that it’s this honesty that he has displayed with his players that has made him a constant presence in their lives.
Before becoming the Select Team coach, Shaw had been an assistant with the Lakers, Indiana Pacers, and the Denver Nuggets becoming one of the NBA’s most respected deputies.
“Now there are a ton of guys who call me all the time that I used to coach,” said Shaw. “That’s the biggest takeaway from coaching.”