Lakers News: Austin Reaves Discusses ‘Special’ Opportunity To Work With Phil Handy
Austin Reaves, Phil Handy, Lakers
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves has thrived since the start of the 2021-22 season, developing at a rapid pace under the supervision of some of the greatest players and coaches in NBA history.

Finding himself train alongside the likes of LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, Reaves has been trying to get the most out of the opportunity. Former Lakers veteran Rajon Rondo praised the rookie guard for his eagerness to learn, manifested in the form of by the many questions he kept asking in practice.

Also, Reaves has seemingly developed a good relationship with Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy — a three-time NBA champion who used to train Kobe Bryant, among others, during his first stint with the Purple and Gold. The 23-year-old said he tries to be “a sponge” each time the two get to work together.

“It’s amazing. As a young hooper growing up, you see and you hear about Phil,” Reaves said.

“Really just getting the opportunity to work with him is special. He is a really good dude. Obviously knows what he is talking about on the basketball court so really I just try to be a sponge whenever I’m with him. Really learn all that I can learn and put the work in.”

Handy lauded Reaves’ development not long ago, saying he will be “a special player” in an Instagram post.

Reaves: ‘Nobody’s checked out’ as Lakers still hope for success in 2021-22

Reaves recently commended the Lakers’ veterans for motivating the rest of the team to keep faith in success despite how difficult the 2021-22 season has been.

“It’s just the way they conduct themselves on and off the floor,” Reaves said. “Things haven’t gone the way we wanted it to go so far, but nobody’s checked out. Nobody’s like ‘aw screw this, let’s focus on next year’ or whatever. We’re really just trying to figure out what we can do to be successful. Like you said, vets that have done this for a long time.

“They know what it takes, they know we have what it takes to take that next step, which is really just figuring it out and putting it all together.”

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