Head coach Frank Vogel and his staff have done a tremendous job in their first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, leading the franchise to its 17th NBA title.
Assistant Phil Handy has been one of the main pieces of Vogel’s crew, bringing in championship pedigree thanks to his time with the title-winning Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors teams in the past.
It has been reported that new Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash is targeting Handy as a potential addition to his staff. And SNY’s Ian Begley reports that the interest in Handy, who has close ties with the franchise’s star Kyrie Irving, is shared across the Nets franchise.
Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy is also seen as a candidate for Nash’s staff by some people in the Nets organization, SNY sources confirm.
Per ESPN’s Frank Isola, Handy, alongside former Lakers and Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, is being considered as a potential addition to Nash’s staff:
Mike D’Antoni and Phil Handy are both potential candidates to join Steve Nash’s coaching staff in Brooklyn, according to a source.
— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) October 14, 2020
After the Lakers advanced to the Western Conference Finals, Vogel said Handy had been “an integral part” of the team’s success this year and admitted that if his assistant had an opportunity to leave L.A., he would “typically” be granted permission to do so.
But the Lakers head coach added that, at the time, he was not aware of Brooklyn’s interest in the 49-year-old coach.
Handy worked with Irving and LeBron James during Cleveland’s four straight NBA Finals appearances between 2015 and 2018. He was also part of Nick Nurse’s staff last season when Toronto won the first NBA championship in franchise history before teaming up with Vogel in L.A.
Vogel knew Lakers were capable of winning NBA title
Many basketball analysts did not believe the Lakers had what it took to reclaim the NBA title after a 10-year wait. But Vogel, who was not L.A.’s first choice for head coach, said he realized he had a championship-caliber team on his hands not long after the start of the season.
“Obviously on paper we felt like we had a team that we felt could compete for the championship,” Vogel noted. “We came out of the gate strong and lost the first game, and I think went 17-1 after that and started thinking about we could do something special.
“I think the weekend where we beat Milwaukee and the Clippers was huge for our internal confidence, that we could and were going to reach our goal.”
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