The connections between the Los Angeles Lakers and Kyrie Irving won’t stop. From the moment the Lakers were linked as a potential trade destination for Irving, the speculations never seemed to rest.
Acquiring the All-NBA guard is a storyline that’s followed the organization all offseason. LeBron James’ interest in teaming back up with Irving is apparent too.
But, most of those trade rumors have dwindled down recently. Irving reportedly never requested a trade and now intends on playing for Brooklyn next season. This could be a form of traction on the Nets’ end, leaking information to force the Lakers’ hand in offering more in a package.
Players still feel optimistic about the deal coming to fruition, but optimism can only go so far. That report came out almost two weeks ago and Irving being a Laker doesn’t seem as likely anymore. There’s reportedly been “no traction” on a deal with the Nets.
Kyrie though is enjoying himself while maintaining links to the Purple and Gold. He was seen volunteering at Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy’s basketball camp last weekend, via Swish Cultures:
— Swish Cultures (@swishcultures_) July 28, 2022
The camp took place at the Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. It was formerly known as the Mamba Sports Academy, Kobe Bryant’s training center focused on youth basketball.
Handy and Irving worked together for four years in Cleveland—a time when Irving emerged as one of the best players in the league. They developed a strong relationship, evident in Instagram posts Handy dedicated to Irving after the Cavs’ 2016 title. Working with Handy again may be another reason for Irving’s interest in the Lakers.
This isn’t the first time videos have surfaced of Irving working at Handy’s camp. When he was scheduled to play in the Drew League, Irving instead taught girls basketball skills at his idol’s old basketball facility.
Irving’s close relationship with Bryant is no secret. The idea of wearing the same Purple and Gold uniform as Bryant is what entices Irving about playing for the Lakers. Spending time working at Handy’s camp would surely make Kobe proud too.
Handy signs contract extension with Lakers
With only a year left on his deal, the Lakers have secured assistant coach Phil Handy for at least more years.
The experienced assistant is known for developing and relating to players, making him an attractive assistant on any team. He also has a close relationship with Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.
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