2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Buffs and Nuggets on a basketball Tuesday

Published: June 25, 2013, 8:55 pm, by Paul Klee

Good day of basketball today. This morning attended the World University Games trials at the USOTC. The state was well-represented with CU coach Tad Boyle on the sideline and CU rising junior Spencer Dinwiddie on the court.

We’ll learn Wednesday if Dinwiddie is one of the 12 players to make the final cut. I saw him running the point and in the off-guard slot, and a pair of coaches told me Dinwiddie’s versatility make him an attraction option. This is a guard- and wing-heavy roster, though, so he needs to play well in Wednesday’s morning session.

“Personally, I wanted to show that I’ll do anything to make the team. I wanted to show that I can guard three positions and I can play three positions,” Dinwiddie said.

Then it was off to Brian Shaw’s introductory press conference as the Nuggets’ head coach.

For anyone nervous about hiring a first-time head coach, Shaw’s cool demeanor and thoughtful answers probably alleviated some of those concerns.

Shaw came across as the genuine article. He talked about his five NBA championships (three as a player) without blasting his own horn. He explained why — after a dozen interviews for coaching jobs — this was the first time a franchise said yes.

“I think I got type-casted as a triangle (offense) guy,” Shaw said, admitting the rejections got “frustrating.”

“I’m proud to say I’m from the Phil Jackson (coaching) tree,” Shaw said. “I’m proud to say I’m from the Frank Vogel tree.”

Here’s what stood out to me the most: Shaw makes it easy to see why player development and player relations are his strongsuit. He played for seven teams but never as the star. The Nuggets are not a team of stars. It figures that he is keenly suited to mold their roster and develop their young talent.

“If they wanted to cut corners, I would just remind them that the guy across the coast who plays your position and is one of the best in the history game, (and) he doesn’t cut corners,” Shaw said.

That “guy” is Kobe Bryant, who once lobbied for Shaw to succeed Phil Jackson in Los Angeles.

One man’s guess: In short order, these Nuggets will lobby for Brian Shaw to stick around for a while.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette