Lakers News: Phil Handy Says LeBron James, Kobe Bryant Share ‘Identical’ Work Ethic

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant will now forever have one thing in common: they both won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers.

James vowed to continue Bryant’s legacy when the L.A. franchise’s legend tragically died in a helicopter crash in January. While in the Orlando bubble, he publicly pondered the meaning of Bryant’s Mamba Mentality — a mindset characterized by the ultimate search of perfection the two, James said, shared throughout their careers.

Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy, who has assured of his commitment to L.A. despite interest from the Brooklyn Nets, has worked with both NBA greats and seen their exceptional talent, skills, and devotion firsthand. And he told David Aldridge of The Athletic that James and Bryant shared the same absolute commitment to basketball:

“Everybody knows Kob and ‘Bron are different guys, personality-wise,” Handy said. “But their work ethic, and their approach to the game, is identical. The way they study their opponents. The way that they break down their own games. The way that they take care of their bodies off the floor. Just the time spent in terms of wanting to be at the top and wanting to compete, they’re exactly the same in that regard. There are so many similarities in just their Alpha mentality, their competitive spirit, and then their confidence. Like, people always question ‘Bron sometimes for whatever decisions he makes, but he’s always been a guy that’s tried to make the right basketball play. (But) being confident? His confidence? His, being around him and Kob, there’s no lack of confidence from either one of those dudes, on anything they can’t do on the floor.”

James took to Instagram to honor Bryant’s memory after winning the title with the Lakers. He dedicated the championship to the late NBA legend, recalling his promise of continuing Bryant’s legacy in L.A.

James reportedly told Anthony Davis there is ‘more work to do’

In his first season in L.A., Anthony Davis quickly developed a rapport with James with the two All-Stars becoming a formidable tandem that fired the Lakers to success in the Orlando bubble.

James reportedly told Davis that their job in L.A. is not done yet during championship celebrations.

Davis has a player option for the 2020-21 season, which he is expected to decline. But the forward is likely to then re-sign with the Lakers in free agency.

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