May 12, 2011STEINMETZ ARCHIVEWARRIORS PAGE WARRIORS VIDEOMatt SteinmetzCSNBayArea.com
The Warriors have officially reached out to Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw about their head coaching opening, CSN Bay Area has learned.According to two league sources, the Warriors called Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak earlier this week and asked for permission to talk to Shaw, the lead assistant to Phil Jackson.Shaw, an Oakland native, is considered a leading candidate to succeed Jackson, who retired this week after the Lakers were swept in the Western Conference semifinals by Dallas.
At the same time, the Lakers' front office has indicated it will interview other candidates, too. Shaw is under contract with the Lakers until June 30, but they have given him the OK to interview with other NBA teams.Shaw interviewed last offseason with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but decided to return to the Lakers. He also interviewed for the Chicago Bulls' heading coaching position in 2008, a job that went to Vinny Del Negro.Shaw is considered among the best of an assistant coaching crop that also includes: San Antonio's Mike Budenholzer, Dallas' Dwane Casey, Boston's Lawrence Frank and New Orleans' Mike Malone.Shaw, who played 14 seasons and helped the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002, would seem to have opportunity to become a head coach for the first time in his career. The Lakers, Warriors, Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers all have vacancies.In addition, it's possible jobs could also open up in Minnesota, Detroit and maybe even Toronto. The Rockets are said to be down to three finalists for their position, none of whom are Shaw but all of whom are former head coaches. Still, Rick Adelman's old job hasn't been filled.It's likely the Pacers would have interest in Shaw. Indiana president of basketball operations Larry Bird has not yet decided to rehire interim coach Frank Vogel and is reportedly also interested in former Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown and current Dallas assistant Dwane Casey.Bird and Shaw have a history. They played together for three seasons in Boston in the late 1980s and early 1990s.That the Warriors would bring in Shaw for an interview is a virtual no-brainer. Shaw grew up in Oakland and played high school basketball at Bishop O'Dowd before attending St. Mary's for two years.He played for the Warriors and still has a house in the Oakland Hills. He has indicated in the past he would relish an opportunity to coach the Warriors and help turn his hometown franchise around.Shaw is the third known candidate to draw interest from the Warriors. ESPN reported on Tuesday that Brown and Casey were going to be among the first to interview with Golden State.It is unclear whether the Warriors have spoken to Shaw yet or set up an interview. The Warriors had no comment and have said they will not comment on any aspect of the coaching search.Calls to Shaw's cellphone were not returned.The Warriors decided not to pick up Keith Smart's option for the 2011-12 season on April 27. At that time, Warriors owner Joe Lacob and general manager Larry Riley said they would be deliberate in their search for a new coach.They also were non-specific regarding the type of coach they were looking for, saying it would be desirable to have coach with experience and yet they are also open to a current assistant getting a shot at a head job.Lacob and Riley also said that they wanted a coach who was committed to more of a defensive approach, but that it likely wouldn't be someone whose main attribute is mostly that.Riley also has said that his preference would be to maintain an uptempo style.In other words, the Warriors have a pretty big umbrella.In the days after the decision to make a change at coach, the Warriors were said to be gauging the interest of former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and perhaps former Knicks and Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.It is unknown whether the Warriors have contacted either of those two or whether they would have interest in the first place.Among the top assistants, Budenholzer told reporters last Friday he was keeping his name out of any coaching search and that for now he wants to stay in San Antonio. Casey, whose Mavericks are in between series right now, is a candidate throughout the league.As for Frank, the Celtics were eliminated on Wednesday so he likely already has gotten a call or two or is likely to soon. Steve Kauffman, the agent for Malone, wouldn't acknowledge whether his client had been contacted for available jobs or not.