Today in Celtics History: Brian Shaw traded

Today, January 10th marks the 25th anniversary of the trade that sent guard Brian Shaw to the Miami Heat in 1992.

Shaw, who was traded for former Syracuse star Sherman Douglas, is much better known for his subsequent coaching career and legal battles with the Celts than his time on the court in Boston. He famously ended up in a lawsuit initiated by the Celtics playing a rookie season with the team, then signing a contract with a European club before signing a five-year deal with Boston. Hoping to play overseas in Italy, he told Boston of his intentions to fulfill the one-year deal in Europe before playing with the Celts. Boston, unhappy with this, sued the team, Il Messagerio Roma. They lost the case and Shaw returned to the team, but injuries and likely lingering ill feelings led to his trade to Miami.

He never played better than his second year with the Celtics, when he averaged 13.8 points and 7.6 assists per game, but would win three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in the twilight of his career as a player. He rejoined the Lakers as an assistant coach after two years of retirement in 2005, winning another pair of rings with the team as an assistant coach. He moved around the league to the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets before returning to the Lakers after having been rumored as successor to Doc Rivers.

While not a major part of Celtics history, one has to wonder - what might have happened had not the relationship between the player and front office broken down? Could Shaw have grown into the player he showed signs of becoming, and if so, what impact would it have had on the extended period of Boston's troubles throughout the 1990s and early 2000s? Although it was certainly not the fault of Shaw, one cannot help but think the turmoil surrounding his departure was a factor to the length of time the club was on the wrong end of the playoff picture.

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