Brian Shaw is the man for the job
If you've been cut off from the outside world (or just couldn't bare to watch the events unfolding in Philadelphia this year), then you would have missed that former head coach Doug Collins resigned from his position after the final game of the year. This leaves Philly in a familiar position of finding a new head coach.
It also gives them a chance to finally get the right guy.
Grabbing Shaw isn't some kind of dream, either. It is possible and the Sixers have already been hinted at wanting to go for him. Philly.com's John Mitchell wrote an article about who Philadelphia will be trying to interview for their vacant position. Shaw's name is one of the highlights:
Shaw's name has come up frequently as a potential head coach in recent seasons. Last season, he came close to landing the Charlotte job - which is again vacant after Mike Dunlap was fired - and his name has also been mentioned in connection with the Detroit Pistons.
After retiring as a player in 2003, Shaw, who briefly played for the Sixers in 1998, joined the staff of the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won two championships as an assistant from 2004 to 2011. He has been an assistant in Indianapolis the last two seasons.
The Sixers can't officially interview him right now because the Indiana Pacers—who he's an assistant for—are still in the playoffs, but that doesn't mean that we can't talk about how good of a candidate he is.
In fact, that's exactly what we'll do.
Here's a look at why Shaw would be the perfect man to take over the Sixers.
The elephant on the court here is that Shaw was an assistant coach for former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson.
So, if the elephant is here, then we might as well feed it.
Learning from a man like Phil Jackson is like learning the art of acting from Denzel Washington. Jackson would be on the Mount Rushmore of NBA head coaches. A typical head coach will know their X's and O's, but not many of them provide anything on the personal level. Jackson knows what he's doing on the court, plus he is one of the most interesting and entertaining men off it.
Really though, when it comes to basketball, there isn't any other coach you'd learn more from than Jackson.
On top of his experience coaching under Jackson, Shaw had a 14-year career as a player in the league, and played for seven different teams. (He only played in one game for the Portland Trail Blazers, but we'll count it.) To most, playing for that many teams would seem like a bad thing, but it goes in his favor.
The life of an NBA journeyman isn't the most glorious one. Team after team means city after city, and it can certainly become draining after a while. The key, though, is that the player has to be able to adapt, learn and provide some sort of production to each team in order to get to journeyman-status.
That player also has to be able to pick different systems up quickly.
Shaw was exposed to seven coaching styles and playbooks throughout his years, and he must have picked up quite a bit of knowledge from each one. Nobody is saying that he'll use a part of each one or that he even remembers everything he's learned, but you can't deny the fact that he's been forced to learn more than the average player.
Some would say that this is an area in which Shaw has nothing to show for, however, it really depends on how you look at it.
As a player, Shaw is at the top of the list when it comes to experience. A 14-year career comes with all kind of knowledge and experience as explained earlier.
Is it fair to assume that he doesn't have as much experience as a coach, though? Yes, but here is where the wording becomes important.
Saying that he doesn't have any experience as an NBA head coach is an accurate statement. But can we say that he doesn't have any coaching experience?
Nine years as an assistant coach means he's been in the coaching game for quite a long time. He was a part of championship-winning teams in Los Angeles and has been a member of the rising Indiana Pacers.
The point is, one of the only "knocks" on Shaw is that he doesn't have the experience of other former head coaches, but if we look at it more closely then we see that he isn't too far behind.
Last, but most important, is that Shaw is going to have a lot of desire to do well and succeed.
He'd been talked about as the heir-apparent to Jackson and the Lakers while he was still with the team. Talks quickly shifted to who's going to get the up-and-coming coach next when things didn't work out in Los Angeles.
Who's the right man for Philadelphia's head coaching job?
He's a 47-year-old man that still looks like he can play the game, and he's never been in position to be the head coach of an NBA organization.
That is something that any man would dream of. The issue is that few are as qualified as Shaw to make that happen.
We might need to get your head checked if anybody thinks that he would come into Philly and give anything less than all he has. Being able to prove the Lakers wrong for not hiring him is incentive enough, but it feels like he wants more than that.
If the Sixers do end up bringing Andrew Bynum back, then Shaw will be reunited with a player who he personally worked with for years in Los Angeles. Who knows if Shaw would try and institute the triangle offense, but getting Bynum back would put the Sixers a shooter away from being able to make it successfully happen.
The pieces just fit and it's finally time for Philadelphia to make a big-time move and take a chance on somebody who's not only earned the right to be an NBA head coach, but who is also ready.
That man is Brian Shaw.