Phil Handy Pleased With How Lakers Have Competed In First Two California Classic Summer League Games
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

After two blowout victories for the Los Angeles Lakers in the California Classic Summer League, the Purple and Gold have brought hope to fans with the effort and performance of the young crew so far.

The impact Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy has had so far on the success of the team is simple. With the Lakers heading in a new direction by investing in young players, Handy has made it his mission to get the players to buy in his motto – compete.

After a 100-77 victory against the Golden State Warriors, the defense L.A put on display was disciplined and fundamentally sound. During the postgame interview, Handy shared how he kept it real with the Lakers Summer League roster in order to buy in and compete:

“All I can say is that those kids are competing man,” Handy said. “We use that word, we put that word on the board just as our pre-game, compete. They are competing at a high level. I’m being pretty consistent in my message. We just told them to listen if you guys compete on the defensive end you’re going to make the game fun for yourselves and they are bought into it 100 percent. Being active and just playing hard and really understanding that for a lot of these guys in Summer League, they are fighting for jobs, their careers, and these are job interviews for them.

“Understanding that showing people that you know how to play hard and play together, it gives them an opportunity to build their resume. They competed at a high level tonight.”

The standard Handy has set for the team seems to be clicking on all cylinders. It roots from the coaching experience Handy has with coaching high-caliber players such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and others.

Known as a competitor as a former player, current coach, and skills trainer, the culture Handy sets for the Lakers Summer League team is something he himself practices what he preaches.

“All I’m saying is compete,” Handy said. “You compete and then the outcome can be whatever you want it to be I believe. You know me for a long time man, I am a competitor. Anytime I step on the floor, I don’t care if it is tying shoe laces or whatever, I am trying to win.”

Heading into Tuesday night’s game against another Pacific Division rival in the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers hope to continue to ride the momentum after two remarkable victories against the Miami Heat and Warriors.

It will be a challenge after the performance of Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray, but the gameplan Handy has in place is nothing sort of what he has been preaching. It is all about competing, and doing so at a high level on the defensive end.

LeBron James Wants Kyrie Irving In A Lakers Uniform

With the recent rumors of Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving potentially being traded to the Lakers, reminiscing on the legendary duo of Irving and LeBron James back in their Cleveland Cavalier days, can make Laker fans even more excited for Irving to potentially be acquired.

James seems to carry the mutual feeling the Laker faithful have about the seven-time NBA All-Star. James reportedly wants to see Irving with the Lakers ‘more than anyone.’

It has been proven that Irving and James work together, but if traded for, the question will be how Irving fits with Davis.

As the trade rumors between Irving and Lakers current point guard Russell Westbrook heat up, the thought of what a potential Big 3 in Irving, James, and Davis would look like is exciting and might be the change L.A. needs to get back into playoff contention.

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