Before the novel coronavirus pandemic abruptly ended the play of professional sports back in March, the Los Angeles Lakers were living their best life.
The purple and gold led the NBA’s Western Conference standings for most of the NBA season. With a current 49-14 record the Lakers have been successful behind their dynamic duo in All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
James, 35, is averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 10.6 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. Davis, 27, currently averages 26.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.
The Lakers are guided by Frank Vogel. A former head coach with both the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers, Vogel has always thrived because of his attention to detail and because many of the teams that he has coached have thrived defensively.
Over the weekend, Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, Phil Handy discussed Vogel, James and Rob Pelinka via Instagram Live with performance coach, Derek Rucker.
For those keeping score at home: Phil Handy is a two time NBA Champion as an assistant coach. He’s been on the bench during five 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.
Below are a few notes from Handy’s dialogue via Instagram Live:
Phil Handy on Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and his perspective on the Lakers this year:
“Frank has done a good job man. The whole organization. Rob [Pelinka] has done a great job. Frank is really a great leader in a sense because he’s very encouraging to the other coaches, very encouraging to the players, and he knows what he wants. He gives us all latitude to coach. OG was hurt. He was a BIG part of last year’s team too…he was hurt. He had a crazy, crazy season – one of my favorite kids. But it was a situation where just everything fell in place…you got a team full of vets – of guys like Rondo who’s a champion, hadn’t been to the finals in years he’s motivated. You got Jared Dudley. A great veteran. Danny Green is a winner. AD comes from a place where he wants to win. ‘Bron wants to get back to the finals. Then you sprinkle in Avery Bradley and Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook and everybody – Dwight and Javale, and DeMarcus… so you got a team full of guys that are motivated.”
Worth noting: this is 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.
Professionally, 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.