Lakers Rumors: Phil Handy Signs Contract Extension
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a disastrous 2021-22 season, the Los Angeles Lakers made the decision to part ways with Frank Vogel. The head coach who led the Lakers to a championship in 2020 was ousted after failing to lead a mismatched roster that suffered numerous injuries to the playoffs.

The Lakers then conducted a wide-ranging search for a new head coach, eventually landing on longtime Mike Budenholzer assistant Darvin Ham. Ham was the perfect candidate to replace Vogel as he has experience winning championships as both a player and coach and previously worked as an assistant in Los Angeles under former head coach Mike Brown.

Whenever a new coach is hired, they typically reshape their coaching staff to their liking but Ham opted to keep Phil Handy as an assistant. According to Marc J. Spears of Andscape, the Lakers reportedly agreed to an extension with Handy last week:

Handy got his coaching start alongside Ham with the Lakers and he previously spoke about his relationship with the new Lakers head coach. The two kept in touch after they each left Los Angeles, and for them to reunite where it all started is a nice wrinkle heading into the 2022-23 season.

Handy is well-regarded around the league for his ability to develop and relate to players, two traits that have become apparent during his second stint with Los Angeles. Handy is often seen before games working out with players on specific moves on different spots on the floor, and he’s also been busy this summer as he coached the Lakers Summer League roster in the California Classic.

Having Handy around past this season is a great sign for the franchise as he’s been an invaluable member to the team, but it’s only a matter of time before he gets his shot at being an NBA head coach.

Phil Handy believes he’s ready to be NBA head coach

Handy has already got head coaching interviews, but was passed on in favor of other candidates. While he hasn’t gotten his shot quite yet, he believes he’s ready to lead a team on the sidelines when the time comes.

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