The daily grind of the NBA can be pretty tough on the younger players. They’re unused to the slapdash lifestyle of traveling, playing, practicing and then traveling again. Earlier this week, Nuggets second year guard Evan Fournier felt under the weather before embarking on a team-building BBQ at coach Brian Shaw‘s house in Oakland during their road trip. After grubbing a lot of food to replenish his weakened body, Fournier fell asleep on Shaw’s back patio. If it hadn’t been for Shaw’s intuitive decision to make a second check of the house before locking up, Fournier might have been locked out on his patio with no cell service and a salivating guard dog ready to attack.
Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears reports:
Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw was about to depart from his off-season home more than two hours after a team-bonding barbeque [sic] late Tuesday afternoon when his intuition stopped him.
The Nuggets players had departed earlier on the team bus, but something told Shaw to check his backyard terrace before he locked up and left for the team hotel in San Francisco. To Shaw’s surprise, he found Nuggets guard Evan Fournier sound asleep with potential danger nearby.
“I locked up everything, and everything seemed in order before I was going to walk out,” Shaw told Yahoo Sports. “I went on the deck to make sure there weren’t any bottles or plates laying around. I saw a leg and a hat on one of the chaise lounges outside. I went over and he was knocked out.
Now comes the hypothetical if Shaw hadn’t gone back and done a close examination of his home before locking up:
I woke him up and told him, ‘The bus left over an hour ago.’ The crazy thing is had I not done that sweep he would have been locked out on my back patio and his cell phone wouldn’t have any service or any juice.”
Had Shaw not discovered Fournier, he would have been locked outside with the coach’s two watchdogs looming nearby. Shaw said “something crazy” could have happened. Fournier, 21, called it a “funny story,” but there wouldn’t have been much laughter if Shaw hadn’t found the Frenchman.
“I have the protection dogs and the players were trying to see them and they were agitating my dogs,” Shaw said. “One of my dogs had actually jumped over the fence and onto my courtyard. [Fournier] would’ve been stuck out there with them.”
Said Fournier: “He saved my life.”
The player and coach bonded on the ride back to the team hotel with assistant coach and fellow Bay area native, Chris Farr. Shaw showed Fournier where esteemed Oakland natives, Gary Payton, Jason Kidd and Damian Lillard lived and played ball in the area. Had it not been for the coaches gut telling him to double-check his palatial estate, this could have been a much different story, one where Fournier, a guard drafted No. 20 overall in 2012, might have been a guard dog’s chew toy.
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