Lakers Coach Sends Message to Kyrie Irving, Stirs Pot on Blockbuster Trade

Getty Images LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

The market for a Kyrie Irving blockbuster trade has been thoroughly outlined. It’s the Los Angeles Lakers or bust. After playing in just 103 games in his three seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, rival teams wonder how much of Irving they would get in a potential deal. But Brian Lewis of the “New York Post” reported on July 12 that Irving desires to stay with the Nets. Amid trade rumors, the Nets star sent a strong message in his latest Instagram post.  

“Had a vision at this age, I owe Me to keep going. I’ll never take God’s talents for granted,” Irving wrote. “Special thank you to all those who believe in ME. The love is mutual, let’s keep pushing to manifest all of our visions and break generational curses.” 

Going to Los Angeles could be a breath of fresh air for the All-Star guard. Not only would it reunite him with his former Cleveland Cavaliers co-star LeBron James, but also former Cavaliers assistant Phil Handy who is currently an assistant with the Lakers. Amid the trade rumors of Irving going to Los Angeles, Handy commented under that same Instagram post, further stirring the pot that Kyrie could be headed west (H/T @jacquethepoet on Twitter). 

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Nets Had Interest in Handy Before Hiring Steve Nash

When Nets head coach Steve Nash landed the job to replace former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, the decision to do so was to the dismay of some fans.

Nash had been a consultant with the Golden State Warriors. He was there when Durant won the only two titles of his career in 2017 and 2018. 

However, he had no experience as a coach, not even as an assistant. And other available candidates had prior experience in coaching roles. One of those candidates was Handy, according to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports.

“Nets were interested in Phil Handy as an assistant coach when Steve Nash took the Nets head coaching job….let’s just say that it didn’t go as planned,” Scoop B said per his Twitter account on April 27.

Handy Outlines Kyrie Irving’s Demeanor

Handy was on the Cavaliers coaching staff when they overcame a historic 3-1 deficit to win the NBA title against the Golden State Warriors in 2016. Thus, he has a close relationship with Kyrie and is familiar with his demeanor. Irving, for the most part, has remained silent during this entire ordeal with the Nets. Handy says that Kyrie has always been private and likens his demeanor to Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard.

“Ky is one of those dudes that is very private. He’s very private and his circle is very small and he’s not a guy that really extends himself a lot to people that he doesn’t know. Kind of like Kawhi,” Handy told Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports in September.

“Until you actually get to know Kyrie, you’re going to get a lot of speculation. He’s going to say some stuff and certain things, but people don’t understand maybe what’s the context behind it or where he’s coming from. 

So, I always say a lot of times athletes, in general, are just in the spotlight where you just hear sound bites or you might see this or hear this, but people don’t really know the kid. And so, until you actually get to know Kyrie, I tell people all the time that if you don’t know someone, you probably shouldn’t speak on him.”

Despite wanting to remain with the Nets, Kyrie could still end up on the Lakers. It will be interesting to see how the situation pans out. 

 READ NEXT: NBA Commish Adam Silver Fires Strong Warning at Kevin Durant Amid Trade Demand

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