Will The Lakers Let Brian Shaw Walk In Favor Of Rick Adelman Or Mike Dunleavy?

Once upon a time (think April), the Los Angeles Lakers figured they would win their third straight championship. They would send legendary coach Phil Jackson off into the sunset with his 12th title and hand the keys to the kingdom over to Brian Shaw.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the perfect ending. The Lakers dream cruise crashed on the Dallas Mavericks' rocks, sending the franchise into a tumultuous state that they hadn't known for a number of years. Now as talk swirls about whether the band is breaking up, there are questions as to whether L.A. still wants Shaw as their front man.

Immediately after the Lake Show was dispatched from the playoffs, ESPN's J.A. Adande reported that the coaching search would be "wide open". That has certainly been the case with stories surfacing in the past couple of days that Los Angeles has shown interest in both Rick Adelman and Mike Dunleavy. All the while, the Lakers have granted the Golden State Warriors permission to speak with both Shaw and assistant coach Chuck Person about their vacant head coaching job.

Allowing Shaw to walk likely would drastically change the team's offensive dynamic. Since Jackson first took over as Lakers coach, he brought Tex Winter's triangle offense with him. Recently, owner Jerry Buss and VP of Player Personnel Jim Buss have reportedly considered moving away from the triangle which could mean Shaw won't be the choice.

Of course, this wouldn't be Dunleavy's first rodeo with the Lakers. His first NBA head coaching job was with L.A. in the early '90s. But Laker fans have also been able to get an up close look at his recent work since he shared Staples Center as the head coach of the Clippers for seven seasons. It wasn't pretty...although the Clipper Curse (bka Donald Sterling) has been known to do that to people. Regardless, early reaction to the Dunleavy rumors hasn't been encouraging. All of that would seem to make Adelman the front-runner.

Then again, this could all be a smokescreen and Shaw could end up with the job anyway.

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