Lakers Assistant’s Tie To Kyrie Irving Could Be Nets’ Head Coaching Fix

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers posts up against Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

It might be in the Brooklyn Nets‘ best professional interest to consider Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Phil Handy as their next head coaching option.

The Phil Handy connection in basketball is crazy and worth paying attention to.

He’s a two time NBA Champion as an assistant coach. He’s been on the bench during 5 consecutive NBA Finals; four with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2015-2018 with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and one with last year’s NBA Champion, Toronto Raptors.

Handy is from Oakland, California and is well respected by today’s premier players; LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.

Over the weekend, Kenny Atkinson was relieved of duties as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. He was replaced by Jacque Vaughn. “We have the immediate connection of being point guards,” said Vaughn.

“We’ve formed a relationship, which I’ve tried to with each guy, but I guess we’re able to talk in point guard language.”

Talk around the NBA water cooler is that the Nets would consider retaining Vaughn, but it would depend on how the rest of season pans out. Other names on the list that the Nets could consider are: Mark Jackson, Jerry Stackhouse, Jay Wright and Becky Hammon.

Don’t rule out Phil Handy.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 08: Phil Handy gives instructions during a training session with Melbourne United at Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre on August 8, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

One source close to the situation tells me this afternoon that Kyrie Irving and Phil Handy were ‘very close’ in Cleveland.

When I ask them how close they are now they replied: ‘Very,’ and told me that Handy pushed Irving ‘a lot’ back during their Cavalier days and that Irving still holds Handy in very high regard.

There you have it!

Also over the weekend, a report via Yahoo Sports indicated that Irving has a preference for Tyronn Lue, his former coach in Cleveland to replace Atkinson and Jacque Vaughn. A league source told me over the weekend that that notion is  ‘absolute nonsense.’

Phil Handy could be a serious consideration as the Los Angeles Lakers continue to surge. Handy was asked by LeBron James to come in and take the Lakers’ assistant coaching job.

Handy works out players extensively in practice and in pre-game. He’s been a big reason why DeMarcus Cousin’s rehab has gone quite well.

This is actually Handy’s second stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. Handy served as player development coach for the Los Angeles Lakers under former head coach, Mike Brown. That means Handy also has ties to the late Kobe Bryant. his daughter Gigi who he actually trained.

In a recent article via ESPN’s The Undefeated, Handy wrote an article where he detailed the relationship of he and Kobe in an as told to with esteemed writer, Marc J. Spears.

Apparently Handy planned to work out with Bryant but they had a miscommunication on time.

“Kobe finally called me one day after practice and said, ‘Meet me at the gym at 5:45,” recounted Handy.

“Mind you this is 2 o’clock in the afternoon. So, I said, ‘Let’s go.’ So I got to the gym at 5:30 in the evening and waited until 6 o’clock, 6:30, 6:45 and said, ‘Man, this dude didn’t show up.’ I finally get up and go home. The next day I finally get to practice at 7:30, 8 a.m. This dude comes out of the locker room, ‘Like, yo, what is your problem? You ain’t going to show up for work?’ I was like, ‘I was here. I came last night.’ He was like, ‘Man, I meant 5:45 this morning.’ I looked at that dude like, ‘Oh, s—.’ He said, ‘Be here tomorrow at 5:45.’ And that was how our relationship began.”

Professionally, Phil Handy played for the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers during the pre-season. He also played in the Continental Basketball Association for the Omaha Racers, Grand Rapids Macker, La Crosse Bobcats and internationally in France, Italy, Germany, Spain,Israel,England and Australia.