Producer: Chapman Downes
On June 26, 1993, the mother, father and sister of former NBA journeyman Brian Shaw were killed in a car accident. (Shaw was later awarded custody of his 11-month-old niece and namesake, Brianna, the only survivor of the crash.) At his side during this rough time was former teammate and best friend Reggie Lewis, but tragedy struck again a month after the accident when Lewis died from cardiac arrest. Now, more than 20 years after that fateful summer, Shaw, 47, is enjoying his first season as Denver Nuggets head coach, following successful stints as an assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, correspondent Bernard Goldberg meets with the Oakland native, who details how the heartache he felt and the lessons he learned guided him to where he is today.