‘LeBron Might Come Back to Cleveland’: Former Lakers Assistant Coach on Re-Uniting With LeBron James

Published 06/15/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) participates during a practice session before Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)


LeBron James undoubtedly cemented his legacy when he went back to Cleveland Cavaliers and won an NBA championship. After his successful years with the Heat, James came back to the Cavaliers in 2014. He won the NBA title in 2016 defeating the Warriors after coming back from a 3-1 deficit. It was the most memorable final in NBA history. James had already won two consecutive titles in Miami, but winning in Cleveland was always his dream. Now, his former assistant coach Phil Handy spoke about how James returning to Cleveland was the icing on the cake for the franchise.

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Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (6) talks with Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) during media day the day before Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

LeBron James return to Cleveland

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Handy spoke about the time James returned to Cleveland, and how Bron was an important factor for him to be the team’s assistant coach. He also spoke about coach Mike Brown asking him to join the Cavaliers for two reasons.

“But when I went to Cleveland… and one thing he [Mike Brown] mentioned was one we want you to mentor Kyrie, two, there is a chance that LeBron might come back to Cleveland… Me and Bron always kept in touch, so it just worked out for me to come back to LA and we go back to the finals again,” said Phil.

The sheer admiration that coaches and players alike have for James is remarkable. Besides that, the quality he showcased on the court was there for people to see. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title for the first time in the franchise’s history. Along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, James grabbed hold of his third NBA title. Handy even spoke about the winning mentality of James and why that was the main reason for him to come to the franchise.

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The Lakers win the 2020 NBA title

After his glory days with Cleveland, the Akron Hammer took up a new challenge with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Los Angeles-based franchise last won the NBA title in 2010 when Kobe Bryant was around. But Davis and James joined forces together to bring back old Larry home.

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James won his fourth finals MVP trophy in 2020 as he became the only player to win three NBA titles with three different franchises. During last year’s finals, James averaged 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and had 8.5 assists per game.

Although the Lakers got knocked out by the Suns this time around, there are no doubts regarding James’ ability. The Lakers will hope to get back to their winning ways next season. There are talks about Lillard joining the franchise, but those are just rumors so far. This is LeBron’s team, and landing a 5th NBA title will be on his mind.

WATCH THIS STORY- LeBron James, Kevin Durant, & More: Injury Riddled NBA Players 2021 Season Edition

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Jacob Gijy

214 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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