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Pro Basketball | LAKER REPORT

Shaw Wants to Move Forward

November 06, 2001|Tim Brown

Brian Shaw didn't miss a lot: three wins, an overnighter to Salt Lake City, a few Ron Harper musings, but nothing on which his teammates couldn't fill him in.

There is plenty left to do, almost an entire season to play, and Shaw reported back to work Monday afternoon with a what-are-you-going-to-do? shrug and a desire to forget all this fiscal messiness.

Tempted, he said, by free-agent advances from Minnesota, Milwaukee, Toronto, Miami and Dallas, Shaw nevertheless signed his $1-million contract with the Lakers, and today will practice with the club for the first time since being waived nearly a week ago.

"I spent time with my family, trying to put things in perspective, you know, where I am, where I want to be with this situation," he said at the team's El Segundo practice facility. "It's something I didn't look forward to. It's something I never agreed with. Unfortunately for me, with the rules being what they are, it's something that had to happen."

A victim of the coming luxury tax, Shaw had his salary cut by as much as $1.25 million through a process in which he was waived and re-signed to a 10-year veterans' minimum wage.

While he expressed disappointment in a sport's collective bargaining agreement that would require such a transaction, along with the coming 10% garnishment of players' wages, Shaw also longed to return to the game, to the city and to teammates who telephoned him frequently since Wednesday.

"I'm a professional," he said. "I'm going to come in, I'm going to put my uniform on, and I don't expect anything to be different. I'm going to play just as hard as I would have before, and fight side by side with these guys to win another championship.

"There were offers out there for more money, more longevity that would have made me more secure over the next couple of years. But sitting back and weighing everything, when my teammates supported me the way they did, that's what was important to me."

While General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Sunday he would "never forget" Shaw's gesture, there also is no agreement for anything beyond this season.

"There's nothing promised," Shaw said. "If I do the right things for the right reasons, the right things will happen to me when the time comes.

"At the end of the year, that'll be my next opportunity to explore other options or see what opportunity is here. I don't think the organization had it in for Brian Shaw. My contract was flexible, is all."

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