Before the Los Angeles Lakers can worry about free agency, they need to first figure out who they will bring in as their new head coach.
So far, the Lakers have been linked to several names like Mark Jackson, Quin Snyder and Nick Nurse but as of now they have only requested interviews with Darvin Ham and recently Adrian Griffin. Ham and Griffin are worthy looks for Los Angeles’ vacancy but more names are sure to surface in their search.
One person who has surprisingly not gotten much traction is Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy. It seems like it is only a matter of time until Handy is a head coach and he sounded confident in his abilities, via Kristian Winfield of New York Daily News:
“I am definitely at that point now to where I know I’m ready to be a head coach,” the Lakers’ assistant said in his podcast appearance. “I’m ready to take on my own team and direct the ship in that fashion.”
Most first-time head coaches are put into rebuilding situations, but Handy has already made it known he is focused on winning right away:
“One, I’m not interested in losing, that’s for sure. I’m not interested in so-to-speak, quote-unquote rebuilding,” he said. “Being a head coach, you don’t always get the opportunity to pick and choose what you want, but I do want a team that has the ability to compete. That’s important to me. So being able to take some young talent and putting that talent on the floor and put yourself in position to compete and be in the playoffs, I would love to be in situation like that and be able to develop some guys, be able to help change and create a culture and bring a winning approach to the organization, so I think it’s a combination, but winning is important to me, it’s always been at the top of the list for me.”
Handy knows a thing or two about winning as he has been a part of three championship runs as an assistant and that type of experience and his ability to connect with players would make him an attractive candidate for any opening. The Lakers could very well be missing out on something good underneath their noses if they choose to go in a different direction.
Masai Ujiri says Lakers can keep dreaming about Nick Nurse
For whatever reason, reports leaked that Los Angeles was interested in bringing in Nurse, who is still under contract with the Toronto Raptors. Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri has seen the rumors and quipped that the Lakers are going to have to keep dreaming when it comes to Nurse.
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