Steve Nash wants Lakers assistant Phil Handy on Nets coaching staff
Steve Nash is wasting little time making his pitch for other coaches to join his staff. The newly-hired Brooklyn Nets head coach already has a lead assistant in former interim head coach Jacque Vaughn. However, Shams Charania of The Athletic also reported Nash is hoping to recruit current Los Angeles Lakers assistant Phil Handy.
It would seem Nash is already attempting to cater a bit to his star players.
Handy served as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2015 to 2018. He developed a close relationship with former Cavs All-Star and current Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. Handy even spoke about his relationship with Kyrie after his name was mentioned in Brooklyn’s coaching search:
“Obviously me and Kyrie spent four years together in Cleveland, tremendous growth for him,” Handy said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “When I got to Cleveland, he was still a young kid just trying to figure it out. I was able to help him learn how to be a pro, and our relationship went way further than basketball.
“Off the court, we spent a lot of time together. We were neighbors. We lived two or three doors from each other, so it was a lot of growing and maturing.”
Nash was hired in part because Irving and fellow Nets superstar Kevin Durant wanted a strong communicator at the helm. The duo seem to have had a good deal of influence on the decision-making in Brooklyn’s front office.
But this would seem to be a wise move from Nash. The two-time MVP is showing enough awareness to want to surround himself with people who know his star players well as he embarks on his head coaching journey with the Nets.