As has been pointed out repeatedly, Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw's terminal issues with player communications has lead to multiple player conflicts over the course of two years. Forget style. Forget X's and O's. It's Shaw's rocky player relations, exacerbated by public statements, that has been his most glaring issue ... which filters down to everything else on this Nuggets team.
I won't go over the multiple incidents of poor communication again here, but if you want to check them out I wrote about it here and here. Nate Timmons wrote about it here. It's very much safe to say that there is a distinctive pattern that has developed.
Of Nate's last article, there are now rumors that Jameer Nelson is on the trade block ... a mere three weeks after acquiring him. I'm hoping against hope that (if he gets traded) it is part of a plan set in motion already, and not the fact that since he's been here he's been forced to call Shaw out in the press twice (most famously after the Memphis Grizzlies away game on the 29th of January) since coming to Denver. It's all so messy.
During their last game against the Los Angeles Lakers, TNT's Rachel Nichols said Shaw didn't know how to connect to his players and was reading books on Millenials (what?) and had to take their phones away while in meetings. It was the kind of non-sequitur that has perplexed of offended some as Shaw's one and a half seasons has progressed. Simply put, was there a need to air that? No. It just seemed so random and out of place.
If the Nuggets hold on to Brian Shaw through this season, I would hope that working on his communication would be first and foremost among the things he works on. Additionally, he needs to understand that he's not Phil Jackson. One of the ways PJax was able to publicly call out his players is because of all the rings he had. Quite frankly the rings Shaw acquired as the 10th player off the bench and as an assistant don't carry the same weight. Learn the power of silence, learn when NOT to speak publicly. This will go a long way to helping build bridges with his players.
Look at his postgame presser following the Oklahoma City Thunder game on Monday.
Positive. Emphasizing the good things. We have seen this so few and far between with Shaw since he became a Nuggets coach. Imagine how much good this team could do if they had a coach who wasn't so relentlessly (publicly) negative. Or rather, if he would learn the policy of less is more. We don't need to know why (insert player) doesn't do things right all the time. We could stand to hear what players do RIGHT more. Maybe it gets back to them and they start to give that "effort" he has been talking about so much since he became coach.
Maybe. Who knows. There is this assumption that it's up to the players to buy in. This is partially true and the Nuggets players have done a poor job giving their coach the top performance. However, Shaw could learn a thing or two about no airing things publicly in the manner he has.
One can only hope for his, and the Nuggets players sake.