After a drama-filled start to the offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers, their month-long coaching search led to former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel.
While Vogel was essentially the team’s third choice, he reportedly was willing to work with the Lakers to fill out his coaching staff — which was an unusual request at the time.
In response, the Lakers have hired former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd and former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins for the 2019-20 NBA season.
With so much experience, the Lakers reportedly are hiring former Toronto Raptors assistant coach Phil Handy now, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
The Lakers are hiring Phil Handy as an assistant coach, a source said. The former Raptors assistant will be at the front of the bench with the Lakers. He also coached in five straight NBA Finals winning two titles.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 14, 2019
During the 2011-13 seasons, Handy was the Lakers player development coach where he worked with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Derek Fisher just to name a few players.
And in 2013, Handy joined the Cleveland Cavaliers where he developed relationships with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. During Handy’s time there, the Cavaliers won one championship in four NBA Finals appearances.
That success carried over when Handy joined Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse’s coaching staff and they recently won their first championship in team history.
Although the entire process was heavily criticized, the Lakers are assembling quite a coaching staff around Vogel.
While it is a much-improved coaching staff, it will be interesting to see if there are too many chefs in the kitchen as three out of the four have head coaching experience.
As there is plenty of excitement with two All-Star players and depth, general manager Rob Pelinka also deserves credit for the hiring of the well-respected Handy as well.