The NBA Finals are missing familiar face in Lakers’ Phil Handy


Editor’s note: This is the Friday July 9 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter from reporter Kyle Goon. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.


One of the NBA’s quiet, respected streaks came to an end this season when the Lakers were drummed out of the first round by the Phoenix Suns: Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy, 49, ended a streak of six straight Finals appearances, during which he won three rings with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors and, of course, Los Angeles.

You will not find Handy, however, wallowing now that the streak has ended. Shortly after the Lakers bowed out, the renowned skills coach shared a social media post of his three championship rings resting on his countertop — lasting tokens of memories he plans to keep forever.

When you go to the Finals every year, Handy told Southern California News Group, sometimes that keeps you from being able to look back. For the first time in seven years, he finally was able to appreciate the one-of-a-kind ride he went on.

“I hadn’t really had a chance to really reflect on it until it was over,” he said. “People don’t know how hard it is to make the Finals, let alone win.”

Andre Iguodala, who won three titles with the Warriors dynasty and reached the Finals with Miami last year, is the only man to match Handy’s feat in the previous six…

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