Brian Shaw gets first crack at head coaching job

DENVER (AP) - At long last, Brian Shaw is getting his first chance to coach an NBA team.

The former guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and Phil Jackson pupil has agreed to succeed George Karl as coach of the Denver Nuggets, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday night because the deal hadn’t been officially announced.

Still, it was the buzz of the basketball world.

“I think the Nuggets are going to benefit from his tenure,” Jackson tweeted.

“So great to see Brian Shaw rewarded with this long overdue opportunity,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel told The AP in a text. “Congrats to Brian and the Nuggets. Denver just got one of the best head coaches this league will see for years to come.”

The Denver Post first announced the agreement with Shaw, the Indiana Pacers assistant who told the newspaper he’s been “prepared by the best of the best” for his first NBA head coaching job, adding “I feel like I’ve waited and paid my dues.”

Shaw is a longtime assistant who has interviewed about a dozen times for head coaching positions but kept coming up short until Monday.

He beat out Lionel Hollins, the former Memphis Grizzlies coach.

The Nuggets called a news conference for Tuesday afternoon, where team president Josh Kroenke and newly hired general manager Tim Connelly will introduce their new coach.

Shaw replaces Karl, who was ousted June 6 just weeks after winning the league’s Coach of the Year award.

Shaw inherits a young team loaded with talent that won a franchise-record 57 games but lost Danilo Gallinari to a knee injury down the stretch and bowed out in the first round of the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.

Gallinari recently underwent surgery and is expected back in December.

The Nuggets have been a state of flux all summer after they were knocked off by the Golden State Warriors in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

First, Masai Ujiri, who engineered the win-win trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, left the Nuggets‘ front office for the GM job in Toronto. Ujiri was the league’s Executive of the Year.

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