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Nuggets Fire Brian Shaw As Head Coach

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  • Nuggets Fire Brian Shaw As Head Coach

    Brian Shaw fired by Denver Nuggets - ESPN

    They should have done this like 3 months ago.

    The Denver Nuggets have fired coach Brian Shaw, general manager Tim Connelly announced Tuesday.

    "I want to sincerely thank Brian for his time with our organization," Connelly said in a team release. "You won't find a better guy than Brian and he is one of the brightest basketball minds I've ever been around. Unfortunately things didn't go as we hoped, but we know with his basketball acumen that he has a very bright future ahead of him."

    Melvin Hunt, one of Shaw's assistants, will serve as interim coach. Hunt is in his fifth season with Denver after five seasons as a Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach.

    The Nuggets are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and have struggled in compiling a 20-39 record this season under Shaw.

    Shaw complained on numerous occasions to Nuggets management about the maturity and professionalism of some of the players but was told to try to work through the issues, sources told's Ramona Shelburne.

    He experimented with canceling shootarounds, in an effort to work with the players. But it had become clear to all involved that the situation wasn't salvageable.

    The Nuggets, mired in a 10-game home losing streak, broke a huddle coming out of a timeout in Friday's home loss to the Utah Jazz with a chant of "1-2-3 ... Six weeks!" Shaw denied that the team was referring to the end of the season, which is about six weeks away, and said it actually referred to the last time Denver won a home game.

    "The comment that the players made when they got together and said '1, 2, 3, six weeks!' was the players saying, 'This is the end of the six weeks, we're going to get a win tonight on our home court and break the six-week losing spell on our home court.' Not six weeks that it's the end of the season," Shaw said. "Now, coincidentally it does happen to be a little over six weeks from then, that it's the end of the season. But I think our players and the Denver Nuggets as a whole were misrepresented in how that was reported."

    Shaw succeeded longtime coach George Karl in Denver and parts ways with the Nuggets after less than two seasons, compiling a 56-85 record. He took over as coach before last season, when the Nuggets went 36-46 amid a rash of injuries to key players.

    "On behalf of everyone in the Denver Nuggets organization, I would personally like to thank Brian for his services the past two seasons in Denver," Connelly said. "He is a champion and a gentleman and I wish him nothing but the best for himself and his family moving forward. Since we purchased the franchise in 2000 we have constantly strived to field a competitive team, culminating in 10 straight playoff appearances and a franchise-record 57 wins in the 2012-13 regular season. Expectations have been raised and we want more.

    "This season our management staff has remained patient and supportive as decisions of this nature are never taken lightly. Patience is encouraged, as long as the organization continues to show progress toward a greater goal. However, competing for championships is our goal, and therefore we decided to make this decision now and look forward to conducting an extensive head coaching search upon the season's conclusion. This has been a trying season for all of us, and we appreciate Nuggets fans continued faith and patience as we build our proud organization back to the NBA's elite."

    Sources told's Marc Stein that the Nuggets plan to take a longer-term approach when it comes to finding a replacement, but a few names have already emerged as likely targets for the Nuggets.

    Former Suns, Knicks and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, whose NBA head-coaching career began with the Nuggets during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, is interested in the position, sources say, while NBA coaching sources identify ESPN analyst Avery Johnson -- who had two playing stints in Denver -- as another strong candidate.

    Warriors associate head coach Alvin Gentry, meanwhile, is expected to be a candidate for virtually every coaching opening this offseason, as will former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who rejoined ESPN this season after his dismissal in Golden State. Former Bulls and Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, furthermore, interviewed for the Nuggets' job before it went to Shaw.

  • #2
    They could use good players, though.
    Trading for all Cleveland teams in Cleveland uniforms, Cleveland minor league affiliates & Columbus Bluejackets