Phil Handy, assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, says there are many similarities between the late Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. He had the opportunity to work with both of them as he was a development coach for the Lakers through 2011-13, Hardy then moved to Cleveland to work as an assistant coach from 2013 till 2018.
“Absolutely, those guys… people are always having the conversation about the GOAT… they are trying to put those guys against each other on daily basis. But what people don’t understand all three of those guys [Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James] and ant other great players their work ethics are insane, insane to the point to where people really don’t understand how much work they put on the court and off the court in taking care of their bodies,” Handy said on Battle for LA Podcast – ClutchPoints podcast.
“And there are a lot of common denominators between Kobe and LeBron in the time that I’ve spent with them. A lot of denominators in how they study the game their basketball IQ, how they study their opponents, how they study themselves. They’re in a different class because for them they’re really pushing themselves to try to perfect the game, they’re pushing themselves to be as great as they can be everyday. Having had the chance to work with both of those guys there’s so many similarities in how they approach the game and how they work.”
Handy also remembered how impressed he was surprised to see LeBron switch an upper gear for the playoffs when he got the chance to work with The King in Cleveland. According to the Lakers assistant coach, that ability to up his game for the playoffs even more is what helped LeBron make it to nine NBA Finals.
The two-time NBA champion as an assistant coach for the Cavaliers (2016) and Raptors (2019), Handy, is on path to win another one in Los Angeles.
Listen to the full episode of Battle for LA Podcast – ClutchPoints with Phil Handy: