NBA Rumors: Nets’ Steve Nash Targeting Lakers Assistant Phil Handy
Phil Handy, Lakers
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets made a surprise move by hiring Steve Nash to be the franchise’s next head coach. While Nash is an NBA legend and one of the greatest point guards of all-time, he is yet to coach a team and now inherits a team facing lofty expectations with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Jacque Vaughn, who served as the interim head coach after the team fired Kenny Atkinson in the middle of the season, became Nash’s lead assistant instead of remaining at his current position. Now, with a few months until the 2020-21 season begins, the Nets are looking to fill out the remainder of their coaching staff.

The first rumored name on their list of candidates is Los Angeles Lakers assistant Phil Handy, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:

The Nets are pursuing multiple assistant candidates for head coach Steve Nash’s staff, including Lakers assistant Phil Handy, sources said. Jacque Vaughn will serve as the lead assistant on the staff.

Although Handy is currently under contract with the Lakers, there is a very simple process for assistant coaches to be interviewed for jobs elsewhere. Handy, should he want to pursue the Nets assistant job in any way, will just need the Lakers to approve a request sent by the Nets.

This will likely happen, as teams almost never deny requests from other teams. Although Handy has not shown interest in the Nets position, he is potentially waiting for the Lakers season to end before even exploring other opportunities.

Handy has been a great assistant for the Lakers staff, as his championship pedigree and ability to develop young players like Kyle Kuzma has been invaluable to L.A.

Handy praises the leadership of Frank Vogel

Although Handy is likely open to other NBA coaching opportunities, he certainly seems to enjoy working with Lakers head coach Vogel. One thing he specifically likes is Vogel’s sense of humor.

He appreciated that with Vogel, film sessions didn’t mean yelling at the team incessantly, it also meant making some jokes and giving everyone something to laugh about. Lakers head assistant Jason Kidd also praised Vogel as a great leader.

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