Los Angeles Lakers assistant Phil Handy describes LeBron as “one of...

Los Angeles Lakers assistant Phil Handy describes LeBron as “one of...
Los Angeles Lakers assistant Phil Handy describes LeBron as “one of...

Phil Handy, assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, is working on a notable résumé in the NBA.

The highly regarded basketball player won his third championship when the Lakers beat the Miami Heat in what was his sixth straight visit to the finals.

After a long and successful professional career that took him from Europe to Australia, Handy has coached the Lakers (2011-13, 2019-20), Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-18) and Toronto Raptors (2018) ever since the NBA active -19).

With the exception of the 2019 Toronto run, Handy’s success is testament to his bond with LeBron James, with whom he has worked closely in both Cleveland and Los Angeles.

“Me and Bron were able to build a relationship that started from work,” Handy told NBA Australia’s Courtside Huddle. “I just have a tremendous respect for him, his work and how he takes care of himself and himself.” How he approaches to be available for his teammates, to be available for the organization. He’s just a different breed. “

“When you have the opportunity to work with people like this and you deserve their trust and they understand that you just want to be there to help them in any way you can, I think this is great evidence of organic relationships, made up of what you do on the floor, “Handy continued.


That relationship spans from practice studio to game night, with Handy quickly dispelling any suggestion that James is difficult to deal with from a coaching standpoint.

“He’s being criticized for so much crazy stuff, but I’ll tell you what, he’s one of the most trainable guys I’ve ever seen, I tell people that all the time. He’s a basketball savant, he’s a basketball junkie, he’s the ultimate competitor. The man fearlessly takes care of his body and relentlessly studies the game. “

Like any successful coach, Handy distracts the praise for its own work and instead points to the greatness of James as a driver for the standards he sets as a teacher and mentor.

“For me as a coach and for all of us who had the chance to train him and to be with him, it challenges us. It challenges us as coaches to improve our game as well and make sure we are on point. We always think. “It’s only the coaches who push the players, but I keep telling people that great players challenge us to be better coaches because they’re so smart and so above what they are do that we have to stand above what we are doing. “

From the outside, James seemed to narrow his focus in the bubble with a fourth title in his reach. Known for his prep over the course of his 17-year career, Handy admits that returning to the season it was the same old LeBron.

„“[It was] nothing else than what I saw of him before. That’s what is so great about him. His degree of persistence is no different, he sticks to what he does and he is persistent.

“I saw that, it was no different. Was there a feeling or a sense of urgency … yes, there was a sense of urgency, he wasn’t in the playoffs last year but his attitude and what he did was the same. I’ve seen the same thing in Cleveland as I’ve seen him over the years have seen. “

Given Handy’s incredible coaching record, it should come as no surprise that his name has been featured in reports for various coaching roles in the league for the 2021 season. Whether you’re in Los Angeles with the Lakers or elsewhere, you’d be a brave man to bet against a seventh straight final.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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