The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing for a successful future with NBA rookie Lonzo Ball leading the way, and a former Lakers star will mentor him on his journey. However, that former Lakers star and champion is not Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Instead, one of the current Los Angeles assistant coaches and a three-time NBA Champion will be in charge of guiding Lonzo to success as the team’s main point guard. That man is a point guard himself and is none other than former L.A. Lakers player Brian Shaw.
The news of Associate Head Coach Brian Shaw helping out Lonzo Ball was reported by Bleacher Report during Tuesday’s Los Angeles Lakers media day. The media session included Ball stating that he knows he needs to work on his game during his first season. “I’m a rookie, so there’s a lot for me to learn,” Ball said among other comments. Gaining insight and knowledge from a player like Brian Shaw can certainly help with Lonzo’s learning curve. As Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton noted, Shaw will “really be in charge of making sure everything is going well” with Lonzo Ball during this coming year as he establishes himself with the team and in the league.
Shaw spent a total of 14 seasons in the league, with stints in Boston, Miami, Golden State, and Portland before he joined the L.A. Lakers in 1999. Once there, he was part of “Three-peat” championship by the team that featured Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. For his career, he participated in 943 games and averaged about seven points per game, which doesn’t scream out superstar, but that’s not the point, either.
Shaw’s best numbers came in his second season with the Celtics when he had 13.8 points per game and 7.6 assists per game, which could be in-line with the sort of first-year numbers Lonzo Ball will try to surpass. Ball seems like a possible double-double type player in terms of those averages. While Brian Shaw was never an All-Star, nor did he make the first or second teams in the NBA, he was on the NBA All-Rookie team back in 1989, which could help him transfer some knowledge to rookie Lonzo Ball.
The more important knowledge passed on will be how to handle the pressure of running the offense for a historic franchise, as well as dealing with the media, and possibly, with those off-court issues that might occur. Shaw is now 51-years-old and had also helped the team win championships as an assistant coach to Phil Jackson. He’s worked with other coaches, including NBA Champion Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich (formerly of the Houston Rockets) and former Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers. Shaw now works with Luke Walton. He will have plenty of basketball know-how and concepts to draw from when it comes to helping Lonzo Ball get situated.
There has also been a report via ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne that Lakers Assistant Coach Miles Simon will be helping Ball out. Will one of the Lakers’ all-time greats also get involved? While Magic Johnson may offer some words of advice and encouragement here or there, it seems as if the main responsibility of helping out Lonzo Ball will rest upon Brian Shaw’s shoulders. Now that it seems LaVar Ball has removed himself from that equation, Lonzo can learn from some of the players who helped make the Lakers so successful over the years.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]