The Los Angeles Lakers and their brass are doing their winner’s rounds. The 2019-20 season ended in an impressive campaign in the Orlando NBA bubble. One of their cogs included assistant coach Phil Handy who joined the team last year. Handy made his way to Los Angeles after a championship season with Toronto Raptors. Handy’s reputation as a dynamic trainer brought the team a much-needed bridge between their veteran-ladened roster and the first-year coaching staff led by Frank Vogel.
LeBron James also had the opportunity to work with Handy during the 2016 championship run with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two reunited and replicated their success, Handy’s second consecutive ring. The Athletic’s Wosny Lambre asked about the difference in coaching LeBron with the Cavaliers and Lakers on the Hoops Adjacent podcast:
“People always say what are the differences – his level of consistency has gotten even better. The same. He’s consistent – in his approach off the court and his approach on the court and his film study and his opponent study – completely the same. To me, that speaks more volume to why he’s so successful. His level of consistency is so high.”
Consistency is always a word that defines LeBron’s career. He’s spent 14 of his 17 seasons in the playoffs with 10 of those going into the NBA Finals. Handy’s been just as consistent with his sixth Finals appearance since 2014. Having this level of experience on the roster and staff is a perfect combination that bred the result we’ve witnessed thus far.