Coming off a 2020 NBA Championship, the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff has gotten more attention league-wide for coaching vacancies.
The Dallas Mavericks wasted no time in finding a replacement for Rick Carlisle as they hired Jason Kidd to be their new head coach, while Lionel Hollins was reportedly in the running for the lead assistant role with the Portland Trail Blazers.
One popular assistant who has started to gain traffic in NBA circles is Phil Handy, who recently saw his streak of three consecutive NBA Championships snapped. Handy is widely credited for developing players at all his stops as an assistant head coach and seems primed to one day take over a lead job.
According to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group, that job could be coming soon as he reportedly interviewed for the Washington Wizards vacancy:
Turning 50 next month, Phil Handy figures to be a part of other memorable runs. While he’s made no indication that he is leaving Los Angeles, he does have ambitions to be a head coach someday. Two people with knowledge of the situation told SCNG that Handy interviewed for the Washington Wizards head coaching job last month. More such interviews are likely in the coming years for a coach who has been on a number of winning staffs.
Because Handy has been a part of multiple NBA Finals and championship teams, his wealth of knowledge and experience is attractive to teams who could be looking for someone to help build winning habits. He also has a knack for being able to communicate and relate to players given his previous experiences as a player himself.
Even though it is just a matter of time before Handy gets his opportunity to lead his own team, he will be busy trying to help the Lakers roster get back to the mountaintop. He has already started to work with players ahead of the 2021-22 season and that will surely ramp up in the coming months.
Phil Handy working out with Talen Horton-Tucker and J. Cole
Handy wasted no time getting back in the gym as he was seen training Talen Horton-Tucker and J. Cole. Horton-Tucker is presumably heading into restricted free agency once the Lakers offer him the qualifying offer, while J. Cole was last seen playing in the Basketball Africa League.
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