After becoming a free agent last summer, Brian Shaw had one wish: to play for Orlando. This is a behind-the-scenes log kept by his agent, Jerome Stanley, chronicling events leading to Shaw's signing.
JULY 1: J.G. [Orlando player-personnel director John Gabriel] calls and expresses interest in Shaw. I reply, We are not interested in being backup.
JULY 2: Talk to Shaw—he likes Orlando, wants me to try to get him there.
REST OF WEEK: Talked to Lakers, Sacramento, Washington, Charlotte, Denver, San Antonio, Cleveland. Mild to moderate interest. Really surprised about Charlotte's lack of interest, they must already have great point guards. Shaw has one twinkle in his eye, Orlando.
NEXT WEEK: Conversation with [Washington general manager] John Nash moves briskly. He wants Brian Shaw as his point. BKS [Shaw] wants Orlando because 1) winning, 2) weather, 3) taxes (Fla.) and 4) likes Florida. Doesn't want to play in cold-weather city and is not sure about winning in Washington. I point out Wash, has more $, you are the starting point guard and it is helluva city for a single, young black professional. He agrees, but still prefers Orlando.
We schedule meeting with [Washington coach Jim] Lynam, Nash, Shaw and me. I let Orlando know this so that we don't lose deal. Orlando wants both Horace [Grant] and Shaw; however, they need [Scott] Skiles to go so that they can use his [salary cap] slot for Horace and then have minutes and need for Shaw. The Bullets are interested in Skiles if they can't get Shaw. Orlando suggests that to do deal, we need to let Wash, know that we are not interested. Orlando does not offer us anything to do this, so we must weigh the cost, bird-in-hand theory.
Orl. moves forward with Sacramento to get slot. Sac's slot...and Spud Webb [to Orlando] for Skiles plus No. 1 pick. Darn!—This would mess up everything. Deal reported on radio as done. [In fact, it was never completed.] I speak to Brian and he sounds depressed. I keep talking to Gabriel about staying on Shaw.
JULY 27, 9:15 A.M.: Shock-John Gabriel calls and says that they are going another direction that will help get Horace signed. They are in pursuit of salary slot. New NBA game Salary Slot Pursuit.
JULY 27, 5:45 P.M.: John Gabriel calls—asks if we might take $700 [$700,000] slot. I doubt it and I tell him that, but I don't close door. I know if Brian does well and team does well, $ will take care of itself.
JULY 28, 11 A.M.: JG calls and says Sacramento [deal] is close. Will Brian accept $690K to sign. Says no agreements will be made on side. I again express doubt.
JULY 28, 12 P.M.: Brian, [Grant's agent] Jimmy Sexton and I all talk. I think that the confidence that Sexton and Grant have in the Magic organization is very impressive to Brian.
JULY 28, 12:30 P.M.: I call JG back and tell him that we would accept $690K with one year out [clause].
JULY 28, 12:45 P.M.: John Nash says he will come out with Jim Lynam to visit us next week. I want to see how this plays out.
JULY 28, 5 P.M.: BS tells how much he wants to play in Orlando. "Get me there, winning is most important. I will make my money." When player is that clear, all you can do is execute his directive.
JULY 28, 5:30 P.M.: JG calls—decides not to have us call Nash. Says that he feels guilty for having BS blow off someone who wants him so much. I sit on Washington phone calls, do not accept them.
JULY 28, 6 P.M.: JG calls—says that he feels that he is close to sending Skiles to Wash.
JULY 28, 10:30 P.M.: BKS calls my house, wakes me up and tells me that someone called saying that Spud was traded for Skiles. He is depressed, so am I.
JULY 29, 11 A.M.: Talk to John Nash—he admits that he is close to doing deal with Orl. for Skiles. I tell him to do what is best for his team.
JULY 29, 2:45 P.M.: John Nash called saying that he did the Skiles deal. He is really sorry about that, but he wishes us well and hopes we don't mind. We can live with that.
JULY 31: JG calls—wants to make sure everything is O.K. I am concerned because now comes tough part, $ discussion.
AUG. 2: Call Sexton and Gabriel. Both are not available. I am a little concerned. Instincts say something is up.
AUG. 5: Gabriel calls and reaffirms interest. Set up appointment for Wednesday/Thursday.
AUG. 10: Periodically talk to Gabriel. He moves meeting to 22-24. Sounds good but I still think that he is stalling. Don't know why.
AUG. 22: Orlando trip confirmed. Media is calling. We go tomorrow. Need right $. Horace's deal is held up by commissioner, should be no problems.
AUG. 23: Go to Orlando. First class all the way. Alias names. Exit from side of ramp. Great limousine. Gifts, dinner. Little things great. I see why they get their guys.
AUG. 24: Gifts every time we leave the room. Shirts, sweaters, bags, sweatsuits, etc. Beware of strangers who bear gifts. Still not talking money.
AUG. 26: First call since we got back home. John says that he is trying to move a player for his slot but that even with picks and $ no one will bite. We talk about cutting [Dennis] Scott for one-half salary slot ($1,600) [$1.6 million].
SEPT. 13: Curveball—Judge Debevoise ruled Grant contract may be rejected by NBA while approving [Chris] Dudley, [A.C.] Green and [Toni] Kukoc. That puts Grant back to square 1; he may need to redo contract without one year out. Although we would like to do BKS with Orlando ASAP, we should now wait to see outcome of Grant; I am on [tour] with Reebok coming through Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Have been in daily contact with NBAPA and JG.
SEPT. 16, AM.: Santiago, Chile—JG and I decide to get it done on the way through Miami. It is time to get signed.
SEPT. 16, P.M.: I have made arrangements for us to go to Orlando after we arrive in Miami tonight. Must call JG at 6 a.m. on Sunday from Miami airport.
SEPT. 20: Grant signs. NBA approves. This makes it difficult for us because Shaw's slot is $690K and is still too small. I talk him into leaving on red-eye and getting deal done [tomorrow]. JG agrees.
SEPT. 21, 1 P.M.: Speak to Knicks. EG [New York general manager Ernie Grunfeld] says that Pat Riley wants Brian. Brian is not interested, wants to get Orlando done.
SEPT. 21, 4-5 P.M.: We agree to one-year deal.
SEPT. 22,2 P.M.: Approval from league on contract.
SEPT. 22, 4 P.M.: Signing!
The Magic moment: Stanley and Shaw flank coach Brian Hill.