Best All-Time Lakers Bench Players: No. 3, Brian Shaw

You won’t have to look far to see just how valuable Brian Shaw was to the Los Angeles Lakers bench. In fact, he still has a seat there today.


Shaw played for Los Angeles from 1999-2003, worked as a scout and assistant coach from 2003-11, and now he is currently the associate head coach on Luke Walton’s staff. In Shaw’s four-year career with the Lakers, he averaged a modest 4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in about 16 minutes per game.

His stats as a player may not be as gaudy as some other notable players who have come off the Lakers’ bench, but Shaw deserves a nod for his longevity.

Before he became a staff member, Shaw had a 15-year run as a player (1988-2003), which culminated with winning three championships while playing for the Lakers. Shaw joined the team in 1999 and his veteran presence was added a locker room loaded with the personalities of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neil.

Spending four years coming off the bench for Los Angeles, Shaw played back up to Bryant and some point guard. He notably rose to the occasion in the 2000 NBA Playoffs when the Lakers almost blew a 3-1 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.

The Blazers led 71-58 heading into the fourth quarter of Game 7, but mounted a comeback, and in that run Shaw had two big 3-pointers to carry the Lakers to a win.

In the 2000 Finals against the Indiana Pacers, when Bryant was ruled out for Game 3 because of a sprained ankle, Shaw started in his place. He finished the 2000 playoffs averaging 5.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Top Lakers bench players

No. 4: Lou Williams
No. 5: Michael Cooper