Good things come to those that wait and former Indiana Pacers associate head coach, Brian Shaw's first head coaching job with the Denver Nuggets is just that -- a good thing.
Nuggets beat writer Benjamin Hochman reports that the Nuggets officially hired Shaw on Monday, three weeks after the Pacers season ended in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Shaw didn't want to just take any top job, but it appeared he may have to lower his standards after his second season on the Pacers bench was generating plenty of interest but no offers. After the Los Angeles Clippers passed on Shaw to spend big on Doc Rivers, the Nuggets were quick to jump in and lock up the revered former Pacers assistant.
"I can't express my appreciation enough," Shaw told The Denver Post by phone Monday evening. "It's been a grind to say the least, but I'm just very appreciative of the opportunity to lead this team. ... It's been years, 11-12 interviews I've gone through. And I've felt I've been prepared by the best of the best. You know, everything that's worth something, a lot of times you have to wait for it. I feel like I've waited and paid my dues.
"I feel honored and privileged that (Nuggets executives) Josh (Kroenke) and Tim (Connelly) have put faith in me that I'm the guy they want to grow with going forward."
All season, Frank Vogel and Pacers players were quick to spread credit for their success to Shaw, at times appearing to make sure they sold the services of their coach to potential NBA suitors. While Shaw's presence will be missed, everyone at the Fieldhouse has to be excited about this news. That includes Paul George who was quick to tweet out his congrats.
Congrats to B Shaw! No one deserves it more.. Learned so much from him!— Paul George (@Paul_George24) June 25, 2013
Frank Vogel expected Shaw to leave for his big opportunity and has mentioned that NBA playing experience will be a strong consideration for Shaw's replacement on the bench.
Shaw joins a Nuggets team that finished third in the Western Conference with a 57-25 record but flamed out in the first round of the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. That was enough for the Nuggets management to fire George Karl. The team will now turn try to re-sign free agent Andre Iguodala who should be pleased with Shaw's hiring. All Iggy has to do is call Kobe Bryant and Paul George for a reference and he'll be ready to sign.
Good luck, B-Shaw!