Source: Brian Shaw Close to Deal to Become Cavaliers Coach
A source on Tuesday morning told FanHouse the Lakers assistant was close to finalizing a deal to join the Cavaliers just one day before James' much-anticipated free agency begins. Shaw was a finalist with former New Orleans and New Jersey coach Byron Scott after Michigan State coach Tom Izzo declined the team's offer earlier this month.
But just as the Cavaliers denied ever offering Izzo the job, numerous reports say a contract offer has not been extended to Shaw. Yahoo! Sports confirmed that Shaw was close to a deal, while Shaw's agent, Jerome Stanley, told the Los Angeles Times that his client was "close to accepting a deal."
Scott's agent, Brian McInerney, told FanHouse late Tuesday afternoon that there has been no contact between Scott's camp and the Cavaliers today to correct any supposed misinformation. It's a further indication that - barring something unexpected happening in the ultra-sensitive time of the James-led free agency that starts Thursday and unless something inspires Cleveland to start its search over yet again - Shaw is the choice.
Shaw interviewed Monday and met with Cavs officials again Tuesday, but - according to the source when spoken to in the afternoon - did not finalize a contract before leaving. Two sources close to the process said Cavs officials are now saying they will make a final decision within the next two days and will even consider new candidates along with Scott, despite the fact that McInerney has already publicly congratulated Shaw on winning the job and openly criticized the way the Cavs handled the search.
"Coach Scott welcomes Coach Shaw into the ranks of head coaching, and as a Laker family brother, wishes him the best, until the final two minutes of any game where they are competing against each other," he wrote in an e-mail midday Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the separation between Scott and the Cavs appears to have taken place in the days before, when his frustration over the perception that he was sitting on a Cavs offer was clearly an irritant.
Scott, who has long been known to covet the Lakers' job when Phil Jackson exits, was also sensitive to the idea that he was holding up the process as Jackson deliberated his future and let those feelings be known.
Had an offer been made to Scott, the Cavs would have received an answer within a day. Without assurances that James would return to Cleveland, he likely would have turned down the job.
"We assumed that due [to] a week of miscommunications with the organization, which continually required on the record correcting, (Cavaliers general manager) Chris Grant was aware of our disappointment in media driven coaching search. As a week of 'corrected' media reports from 'our camp' indicated, we did not appreciate Cavalier executives going 'off the record' and creating incorrect news with writers, or at least as was repeatedly told to us by those journalists," McInerney, wrote FanHouse.
"There was no offer or contract to withdraw, so issuing a statement that one was being withdrawn only gave credence to a fictional story. There was no reason to speak to LeBron James since there was nothing to discuss."
McInerney also said his client would like to see Phil Jackson return to help lead the Lakers in attempt to win their third straight championship.
"At no time would a member of the Laker family get involved in the decision making of Dr. Jerry Buss, Mr. Jimmy Buss and Mr. Mitch Kupchak," McInerney wrote. "As continually stated in 'on-the-record' remarks, we would encourage Coach Jackson to pull his talented team together one last time and go for the title Coach Scott created, but due to a fateful injury never achieved 'Three-Peat.'
Shaw was an assistant coach under Jackson for the last five seasons. He won two NBA championships with the Lakers as an assistant and three titles with the Lakers as a player.
The 44-year-old Shaw spent his first two college years at St. Mary's College of California. He transferred to UC Santa Barbara for his final two seasons.
In 1988, Shaw was the selected by the Boston Celtics with the 24th overall pick in the NBA Draft.
The 6-6 Shaw played with seven teams in his 14-year NBA career, finishing as a Laker.