Phil Handy, who has been an assistant coach with LeBron James on the Cavaliers and Lakers, recently cleared the false narrative about James being a coach killer.
King James has arguably been one of the most polarizing NBA superstars in the last decade. The 4x NBA champion has often been the victim of some false storylines. That has been circulated by certain sections of the media having a bias against him.
One such narrative being of a “coach killer” that has been following him since his days with the Miami Heat. Though none of these accusations have ever been proven right. These stories continue to circulate in the media and the internet.
“LeBron James is no coach-killer”: Chauncey Billups and Phil Handy
Former assistant coach of the Cavs and Lakers Phil Handy recently rubbished all these rumors and defended James by calling him the student of the game.
“The notion that LeBron James is a coach killer is ridiculous.” -Chauncey Billups on NBA Countdown pic.twitter.com/l5WMY81wqz
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 28, 2016
The NBA superstar was hurled with these accusations first during his days with the Miami heat. According to reports, James wanted Heat coach Eric Spoelstra fired from his job. Nevertheless, this accusation could never be proven. James went on win 2 NBA championships with coach Spoelstra.
The 17x NBA All-Star would find himself in the middle of this controversy again. One and a half years after James’ homecoming. The head coach of the Cavs, David Blatt was fired from his job.
However, it was reported later by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that the Cavs didn’t even consult the 4x NBA MVP on this matter.
These allegations followed him to the city of Los Angeles as well. It was reported that after playing one season with Lakers head coach Luke Walton. The Lakers management and Walton decided to mutually part ways the very next season.
Speaking about his involvement in these organization decisions, James said:
“You ask any of my little league coaches, my high school coaches, coaches I’ve played for in tournaments, camps, my NBA coaches. I’ve always respected what they wanted to do. And I’m not the owner of a team, I’m not the GM of a team. I’m the player of a team.”
Phil Handy, who has spent time with James in Cleveland as well as in LA. While appearing as a guest on the popular podcast All The Smoke spoke about the accusation of a coach killer leveled on James.
“His first day back to Cleveland, I sat down and asked him, I said, ‘Man, what areas do you want to improve? Where do you want to get better? How can I help assist you in that process?’ And Bron was just like, ‘Footwork, ball handling, post-ups, I want to get better at everything.”
Handy continued saying: ” I will say this to this day man, for somebody of his caliber, that man is a student of the game, and he wants to be coached. He wants to be uncomfortable to continue to get better every day, even to this point.”