Brian Shaw landing the head coaching gig in Denver marks the fifth black NBA coach to get hired this offseason (not counting Doc Rivers). Maurice Cheeks in Detroit, Jason Kidd in Brooklyn, Larry Drew in Milwaukee and Mike Brown back to Cleveland preceded the five-time NBA champion as a player and assistant coach.
Of the 10 coaching vacancies this offseason, half of them were filled with black coaches, but four of those vacancies were previously held by black coaches. The Sixers, who parted ways with Doug Collins this past season, still don't have a coach.
Byron Scott was replaced in Cleveland with Mike Brown, the guy Scott actually replaced. Scott Skiles was the guy in Milwaukee, but Drew is handling that now after the Hawks decided not to re-sign him. Mo Cheeks is stepping in for Lawrence Frank, who didn't seem to vibe with the players.
Kidd, rather than P.J. Carlesimo or Avery Johnson, may have the most pressure with the high-profiled Nets, but B.Shaw is a guy who many consider to have done the dues-paying that Kidd supposedly never did. Shaw is replacing last year's Coach of the Year in George Karl, who led the Nuggets to their best regular season as an NBA franchise.
The Alvin Gentry/Lindsey Hunter mechanism in Phoenix was replaced by Jeff Hornacek. It appears Dave Joeger is going to replace Lionel Hollins in Memphis, though Hollins is fit for a candidate in the one vacancy left in Philly. Oh yeah, Boston's looking for a coach now, too. Doc, taking over for Vinny Del Negro, just made the smoothest coaching transition ever from one former championship squad to a potential one.
The NBA has long been the most diverse pro sports league in terms of coaches. If you count Doc and consider Hollins and Scott as legitimate coaching candidates since they held down positions last season, the Association had just as many black coaches hired this offseason as the NFL and MLB combined have actively. The NFL and MLB have three black head coaches or managers apiece.