Weary Shaw Gets One Trophy Early


Laker guard Brian Shaw is hoping to win a championship ring Friday. It will be big, it will be glittering, it will be a prized possession.

But it won't be the highlight of his life.

It won't even be the highlight of his week.

"I already got my trophy on Tuesday," he said after making a couple of big shots in the Lakers' 100-86 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.

At least Shaw thought it was Wednesday night.

And he thought it was Game 3.

But how could he be sure after swirling through the previous, dizzying 59 hours?

Those hours went as follows:

1 p.m. Monday (EDT)--Shaw boards a plane for Oakland where his wife Nikki is about to give birth to the couple's second child. They already have a son, 2-year-old B.J.

3 p.m. Monday (PDT)--Shaw's plane lands.

5 p.m. Monday (PDT)--Shaw arrives home to find his wife is nervous. Labor will be induced on Tuesday, but she will require a Caesarean section.

10:30 a.m. Tuesday (PDT)--At an Oakland hospital, Nikki goes into labor.

2:30 p.m. Tuesday (PDT)--Bianca Nicole Shaw comes into the world weighing seven pounds, seven ounces.

10:30 p.m. Tuesday (PDT)--The wheels of an eastward bound jet go up as Shaw begins the long flight back to Philadelphia.

7 a.m. Wednesday (EDT)--A weary, bleary-eyed Shaw is back in Philadelphia. He heads for his hotel where he captures a couple of hours of sleep.

Noon Wednesday (EDT)--Despite the fact that his eyes keep closing, Shaw takes part in the pregame shoot-around.

"I needed to sweat a little," he said. "I needed to get my cardiovascular system going."

2 p.m. Wednesday (EDT)--Shaw is back at the hotel trying to get a little more sleep. In all, he dozes for about four hours.

8 p.m. Wednesday (EDT)--In the Laker locker room in First Union Center, while his teammates go through their pregame rituals, Shaw finds an empty corner and slumps down.

"Usually, I'm the energetic one in there," said Shaw.

But not this time.

Although he fights it, his eyes slowly close.

Suddenly, Shaw feels someone slap his feet. It is Shaquille O'Neal.

"Wake up," O'Neal says, "I'm going to need you tonight."

9 p.m. Wednesday (EDT)--Shaw is out on the floor for the pregame introductions, but he's not all there.

10:30 p.m. Wednesday (EDT)--It's halftime and Shaw has played only five minutes, making the one shot he attempted.

Midnight Wednesday (EDT)--Shaw's odyssey is over. In all, he has played 10 minutes, scoring five points, pulling down two rebounds and handing out one assist.

Included in his point total is one of the key shots in the game. It came with just under 8 1/2 minutes to play and the 76ers, who once trailed by 22 points, making one last charge, the margin down to 12.

Shaw squares up and makes a three-pointer from 24 feet out, one of 10 the Lakers sank Wednesday night on 19 attempts.

Tyronn Lue follows with another three-pointer.

After Philadelphia gets a point on a technical foul, Robert Horry makes a third three-pointer.

It is the second time in the game, the Lakers have made a trio of threes in a row, Horry, Ron Harper and Lue connecting in the second quarter.

This time, it's good night, Philadelphia.

And soon, mercifully, it will be good night, Brian.

"When Bianca grows up," Shaw said, "I will tell her what her Dad had to go through."

2 a.m. Thursday (EDT)--Lights out for Brian Shaw.

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