Lakers News: Suns Announce Hiring Of Dru Anthrop As Assistant Coach Under Frank Vogel
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns announced they hired former Los Angeles Lakers video coordinator and player development coach Dru Anthrop.

Anthrop spent four seasons with the Lakers but now reunites with Suns head coach Frank Vogel, who coached Los Angeles from 2019-2022. Vogel led the purple and gold to its 17th NBA Championship in 2020 in the bubble. Anthrop also spent two seasons with Vogel as a special assistant during their time with the Orlando Magic.

Aside from Anthrop, Phoenix poached several of Vogel’s assistants from L.A. including David Fizdale, Quinton Crawford, Miles Simon, John Lucas III and Jon Pastorek. Aside from Fizdale, the rest of the group was on Vogel’s staff during the title year.

Anthrop got his NBA start with the Indiana Pacers, where he was their film coordinator intern from 2013-2015, marking the first time he worked with Vogel though not in a coaching capacity. Prior to making it to the league, Anthrop was a graduate assistant for St. John’s University. He also played in college for Purdue University for four years, serving as a member of the 2010 team that won the Big Ten title.

While Vogel has assembled his coaching staff for what looks like a loaded Suns team, the Lakers and Darvin Ham will need to find replacements the next few weeks. Fortunately, key members of Ham’s staff remain like Phil Handy and Chris Jent. Handy in particular seemed at risk of leaving considering his impact on the team and his relationship with Vogel, but the assistant coach revealed he signed an extension with the Lakers and isn’t going anywhere.

Losing several coaches at the same time is a minor setback for the organization, though the effects shouldn’t be too bad given who they managed to retain. While looking for coaches to fill in the gaps will take some time, the organization will primarily be focused on the upcoming NBA draft and free agency. Los Angeles has the chance to make a real run at another championship next season, so the next few weeks are of the utmost importance.

Phil Handy expects LeBron James to return for 2023-24 season

Handy has been a key member of several championship coaching staffs, so it was good to hear that he’ll be around the next couple of years. However, all eyes are now on LeBron James who has hinted at possibly retiring after 20 years in the league.

It seems far-fetched that James would actually hang his sneakers up after the season he had, and Handy reiterated the belief that the King will indeed come back for the 2023-24 season.

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