Phil Handy knows what it takes to win a championship. The Lakers assistant has been part of the last six consecutive NBA Finals and he’s hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in three of those appearances, including the last two.
Handy’s championship pedigree and reputation for developing young players has made him one of the most coveted assistant coaches in the NBA for the last several years and last year, the Lakers were the team fortunate enough to secure his services. This year, the Brooklyn Nets were hoping to be Handy’s next team, but during an interview with Jason Dumas of KRON4 News, Handy said that he’ll be back with the Lakers next season:
“I am a Los Angeles Laker. What’s next for me is to wait for Frank Vogel to pick up the phone and text me or call me and give me what my next directives are. I’m just going to sit back and try to enjoy this championship we earned and, you know, decompress a little bit.
“We work so hard that people think we never take time off and I, myself, have had to learn to how to decompress and step away from the game, to where I can stay mentally and physically sharp. I’m going to enjoy this time with my friends and family, and I’ll be ready for whatever directives coach Vogel has for me next as we prepare for this next upcoming season.”
That’s excellent news for the Lakers, who could use Handy’s particular set of skills this offseason. Not only do the Lakers have a promising young talent in Talen Horton-Tucker, who won’t turn 20 years old until next month, but they also have a first-round pick in the upcoming draft. With just those two, Handy’s expected to have a handful this summer.
It’s not just the really young players that will benefit from another offseason with Handy, though. Players like Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma can also sharpen their tools and add things to their game through working with Handy. That’s exciting.
After this season, Handy could decide to continue his journey across the NBA and sign on with an exciting team like Brooklyn but for now, he’s a Laker, and that’s worth celebrating.