Former Hawaii men’s basketball guard Phil Handy is an NBA champion once again.
Handy, who won a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, can get a second finger fitted for a ring after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games on Thursday night in Oakland for the franchise’s first championship. Handy is a first-year Raptors assistant coach.
It was the fifth straight year Handy faced the Warriors in the NBA Finals. He was there four straight years as a player development coach with the Cavs before latching on with rookie coach Nick Nurse’s staff in Toronto last offseason.
Handy, an Oakland native, could celebrate a championship in his hometown for the second time; he also won the 2016 title on the road with the Cavs. (The Undefeated recently did a video feature on Handy and his Oakland roots.)
An exultant Handy put up a series of posts and stories on his Instagram page from the court, the champagne-soaked locker room and the team plane on the flight back to Toronto.
View this post on Instagram
#championship #vibes with my guys Nurse @itsjerms_33 and #larry … cool story of how I became part of the @raptors family: 1 year ago today June 14 I randomly texted #nicknurse before I knew he got the job. ME: Praying for you and hope you get the job. NN: Your prayers have been answered ME: LOL Man congrats NN: Thanks Phil. What’s your situation? ME: Actually as of today I am free. NN: Let’s talk! The rest is #history … #wethenorth #epicpic #ringchasin #makinghistory #nbachamps #toronto #canada #larryobrientrophy #champions #BeYourOwnGoat #onedoorclosesanotheropens #allsmiles
Handy is believed to be the first Hawaii basketball alumnus to win multiple NBA championships as a player or coach. Tom Henderson won one as a player with the Washington Bullets in 1978.
The Raptors’ other Hawaii tie is general manager Bobby Webster, a Kailua native who graduated from ‘Iolani in 2002.
#FlashbackFriday to this 'Iolani School Bulletin Q&A with Dr. Mark Mugiishi '77 about his former player Bobby Webster '02, the General Manager of the @Raptors, who won their first @NBA championship last night — https://t.co/aU11lmK7L2 pic.twitter.com/VvxBEsr6iB
— 'Iolani School (@Iolani_School) June 14, 2019