You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has won more championships in the past five years than a certain someone within the Lakers’ organization. No, it’s not LeBron James. I’m speaking of Phil Handy, who has three championships (2016 – Cavs, 2019 – Raptors, 2020 – Lakers) to LeBron’s two in the last five years. The assistant coach — who has become known as an exceptional skill development coach — has known nearly nothing but success in the past half-decade. Because of this, it’s been surprising to see that Handy never gets linked to open head coaching positions, but those days may be numbered.
He may not receive an offer to be some team’s head coach this season, but Kyle Goon of the O.C. Register reports that he did at least receive an interview this offseason for the position with the Washington Wizards. Here’s what Kyle Goon had to say about the whole situation as part of a long feature he did on the Lakers’ assistant:
Turning 50 next month, Phil Handy figures to be a part of other memorable runs. While he’s made no indication that he is leaving Los Angeles, he does have ambitions to be a head coach someday. Two people with knowledge of the situation told SCNG that Handy interviewed for the Washington Wizards head coaching job last month. More such interviews are likely in the coming years for a coach who has been on a number of winning staffs.
NOTE: Wes Unseld Jr., the Nuggets’ assistant, is currently expected to receive an offer for the Wizards’ head coach position.
Hopefully Phil Handy doesn’t receive an offer this season as an assistant on someone else’s staff — something that almost just happened with the Lakers’ assistant Lionel Hollins — as Handy brings great experience and knowledge to this Lakers team. Still, even if Handy stays with the Lakers for his third season in the purple-and-gold, don’t be surprised if there are many more rumors swirling around his prospects as a head coach during the 2022 offseason. And if the Lakers make another championship run during the 2021-22 season, you can nearly guarantee those rumors will happen.