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Retired Shaw Still Part of Team

A three-time champion, he will join the Laker front office as a scout, coach and consultant.

September 25, 2003|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

Brian Shaw entered retirement on Wednesday after 14 NBA seasons with perhaps an ounce of reluctance, but with his signature grin and sense of perspective, important because the framed No. 20 he was presented with already had been assigned to another player, Gary Payton.

He said he would embrace his new career, a scouting-coaching-consulting composite that means he'll learn the business of the Laker front office, dabble with the younger players in training camp, and report to General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Phil Jackson.

He also said he would maintain his player's body and sharpness, because, well, you never know, and if Jackson were to require another guard, well, there are other numbers to wear.

"I think I'm still capable of playing," he said.

In a brief and warm news conference at the Lakers' training facility in El Segundo, Kupchak honored the persistence of Shaw's career, and Shaw hinted that he might not be completely through persisting. Still, Kupchak had invited Shaw to training camp and offered the alternative of a suit and tie, and it was Shaw who chose the latter.

"It's a time I knew was going to have to come," said Shaw, 37. "I'm looking forward to a new challenge of doing something different, something that's still involved in basketball. I'm grateful to the organization for giving me the opportunity to stay involved on this level and to stay associated with the game and the guys I've grown so close to."

Shaw is one of seven players who had a hand in each of the Laker championships in the first three seasons of the decade. He is the first to retire, the second to leave the organization as a player; Robert Horry signed with the San Antonio Spurs in the off-season. That leaves Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Rick Fox and Devean George.

"I was sharing with Mitch and Jerome [Stanley, his agent] earlier that it seemed only yesterday that I was a rookie in Boston and Reggie Lewis and I were joking around with Dennis Johnson and Robert Parish and [Kevin] McHale and [Larry] Bird about them being old, and them having to ice their knees and ankles down after every practice and every game," Shaw said.

"Last night, I'm watching the news and I'm seeing Devean George talking about me as a wise, old, crafty veteran. It's funny how fast things have come full circle."

Shaw, his eyes blotched red, laughed.

"I'm really eager and hungry to learn this side of it," he said. "It's been a great run for me."

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