How would you like to be Brian Shaw right now? You had the Cleveland Cavaliers job last season but backed out at the last minute... probably thinking that the Lakers job was just sitting there waiting for him once Phil Jackson retired.
I guess it made sense. He had Kobe's blessing. He'd been with the team for a long time. It all added up. Except it didn't, and now Shaw is on the outside looking in as former Cavs coach Mike Brown negotiates a deal to make him the next Head Coach of the Lakers.
Los Angeles had considered longtime assistant Brian Shaw, but the focus is now on Brown, who is currently an NBA analyst for ESPN. There could be an agreement in place within the next 24-48 hours, sources say, but nothing has been finalized. Brown expects to reach a resolution one way or another with Los Angeles on Wednesday.
The two sides are working out issues that could be dealbreakers and cause the Lakers to go to another candidate, sources said, but there’s clearly momentum toward Brown becoming the next head coach.
The Lakers and Brown’s representation were discussing salary and length of contract on Tuesday, with the Lakers trying to hold the line on terms, sources said. Those talks will continue Wednesday, with the Lakers playing hard ball. They have made it clear that they’ll move onto another candidate – possibly Rick Adelman, Mike Dunleavy or Shaw – should they be unable to come to an agreement with Brown.
Brown wants a four-year contract worth $4 million-plus per year, sources said.
That's a lot of money for Mike Brown. He's got the gaudy 272-138 record... but what does he have to show for it? Zero rings. But I guess if you can pin that on LeBron, then you look better.
It's still not a done deal, but it's looking pretty good for Brown in L.A. Which means Brian Shaw's going to have to find another job somewhere else. And how do you go somewhere else and answer the question "you looked like the heir apparent and you had the star player's blessing. So why are you here and not there?"
Meanwhile, Golden State's job is still open... and they've got Jerry West in there consulting on team business. Boston's Lawrence Frank is one of the contenders for that. Others include Dallas' Dwane Casey, Lakers assistant Chuck Person, and ESPN analyst Mark Jackson.
And the Kevin McHale march to the Houston job continues today with the biggest meeting of them all... a meeting with team owner Leslie Alexander.
Several factors will come into play when Houston makes an offer, including the next coach’s willingness to accept a short-term deal – possibly two years – and strong suggestions on an assistant coaching staff. The Rockets want their D-League affiliate coach, Chris Finch of Rio Grande Valley, to be part of the coaching staff. They see him as an eventual NBA head coach.
This might explain why McHale is so far ahead of everyone else. He might be willing to accept terms that some of these other guys might not. If McHale makes a good impression today... I wouldn't be surprised to hear an announcement soon.
Getty Images photo