Lakers coach Phil Handy on relationships with players: “They sweat, I sweat.”

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The Los Angeles Lakers addition of Phil Handy played a major part in this season’s success. Handy is heralded around the league from coaches to players, including the likes of superstars like Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant. Handy’s time with these guys has been a big part of their development and tightening of essential parts of their games.

Handy has turned his dedication into three championship rings, including back-to-back titles with the Toronto Raptors and Lakers.

Handy made an appearance on The Athletic’s Hoops Adjacent podcast and spoke with David Aldrdige and Wosny Lambre. He covered topics ranging from LeBron and Kobe’s mindset, as well as his approach in fine-tuning each individual player’s tools on the roster. Handy was asked about how he approaches his role from day to day:

“For me, I call it real authentic trust. You build that through the work that you do. And I’ve always found that players respect you as a coach. When I step on the floor — they sweat, I sweat.”

The camaraderie amongst players is important, and so is coaching. The level of effort that Handy has always put into this is essential to navigating the grueling hours of fitness and training. Luckily for the Lakers, Handy is dedicated to the craft. When he isn’t focusing on his NBA guys, he had his own app – 94 Feet of Game.

The Brooklyn Nets showed interest in bringing Handy back to the Eastern Conference, but it appears he’s ready to help the Lakers repeat next season. Their interest is a testament to the league-wide recognition of his gifts. The Lakers are no fools, they understand his importance as just the same. Thank god for real ones like the OG.

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