Sometimes as fans we get caught up in the moment. Overreacting is just in our nature when it comes to the teams we’re passionate about.
But there will always be those instances in which everyone seemingly shares the same sentiment players, fans and coaches alike. The manner in which the Lakers went about flirting with Phil Jackson before committing to Mike D’Antoni is one such instance.
The fans in Staples were chanting for Phil. Kobe Bryant was talking about playing for PJ again as if it was inevitable. Everything seemed in order.
Then D’Antoni happened and the fallout was instantaneous. Fans, pundits and even coaches alike chimed in on the manner in which the Lakers dissed PJ.
One man with a strong opinion on the matter is a man who both played for and coached with Jackson, one Brian Shaw. B-Shaw was also seen in high regards by players and fans alike as the man to replace Phil when last he left. As we know that gig went to Mike Brown with Shaw getting a token interview before finding out whom the new coach was via ESPN.
As you’d expect the entire ordeal has left Shaw with a bad impression of the franchise he spent years as a member of.
“Under the circumstances, Phil Jackson, who’s been there and done that and put a lot of money in everybody’s pockets around here, the way it was done . . . it’s mind-boggling. I was joking with him, at least you got a phone call, even though it was midnight. In 11 years he was coach here, he took the team to the Finals seven times and won five. I don’t know if any of the other 29 teams would have done him the way he was done after he had done so much for the organization and the city.”
This all reflects poorly on Jim Buss. Yeah, it’s a broken record here at LSL as we keep beating that drum but it’s the truth.
Since Jimmy B has taken on an expanded role in the organization the nature in which the most respected franchise in hoops does business has changed. Longtime employees like Ronnie Lester were let go without so much as a “thank you”. Brian Shaw was sent packing in unceremonious fashion due in large part to his relationship with PJ. And now we’ve got this entire coaching debacle that can all be traced directly to the empty office of Jim Buss.
For whatever it’s worth things worked out for Shaw who comes to Staples tonight as a coach on the Pacers staff. You get the feeling its only a matter of time until B-Shaw gets his chance to be a head coach but odds are it won’t be with the Lakers.
“After how things ended for all of us in L.A. at the end of that last season I was there, there’s no reason for me to get my hopes up about anything because if that was the case, something different would have probably been done initially.”