During his interview with the Lakers for their head coaching position, Brian Shaw was taken aback by the negatively from Jimmy Buss about Phil Jackson.
"There were some things that were said that I won't really get into," Shaw said. "It was kind of bashing Phil Jackson, that I just refused to just sit and listen to. And that's when I said, 'Hey, I love Phil Jackson. I appreciate everything that we've all been able to accomplish under him. We've all prospered since he's been the coach here.' "
Told of Shaw's comments, Mitch Kupchak said he and the Lakers will always appreciate the contributions of Jackson to the franchise.
"Phil and I have a great relationship -- I was with him two days ago and we sat down for an hour a week ago," Kupchak said. "We had been to seven NBA Finals and won five Finals with him, and this organization is eternally grateful to have had him as a coach.
"I don't know what you're referring to what took place in that meeting. I don't even want to speculate. ... Phil has been very, very good to this organization and city, and we are very, very grateful to have had him as coach. I consider him as a friend and somebody I owe a lot to personally."
But Shaw says Kupchak wasn't the one speaking poorly of Jackson.
"The negativity toward Phil didn't come from Mitch," Shaw said. "It was more from Jimmy Buss just doubting some of the decisions he made in terms of how he was handling and running the team and coaching the team on the sidelines, and sitting down instead of getting up. People look at coaches and want them to pace up and down the sidelines and bark instructions to the guys. That's not Phil's demeanor. That was viewed as a negative in my estimation -- but it won him five championships with the Lakers and six with the Bulls, and that was his coaching style when he won, so why was that not acceptable now?"
Two weeks after he heard of Mike Brown's impending hire, Shaw said he received a voicemail from Jerry Buss.
"Dr. Buss did call and leave a message saying that his son is in control now, and he has to let him make whatever decisions that he makes, that I was still one of his favorites, and that he was sure that I would be OK going forward," Shaw said.