When it comes to NBA teams and making deep runs into the postseason, it helps to have a Phil Handy handy.
Handy, the University of Hawaii guard-turned NBA player development guru, will make a fifth straight appearance in the NBA Finals today when the Toronto Raptors take the court (3 p.m. Hawaii time) for Game 1 against the defending champion Golden State Warriors in Toronto.
Handy was with the Cleveland Cavaliers the last four years during the Cavs’ run of four straight Finals appearances and was brought on board with new Raptors head coach Nick Nurse last offseason. Now he helps guide players like superstar Kawhi Leonard and up-and-coming star Pascal Siakam. That after working with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant in his past stops.
It’s been a good run, to say the least.
Handy is eager at another chance to beat the Warriors, who bested Handy’s Cavs in three of those four matchups, he told the Star-Advertiser’s Cindy Luis in a phone interview for a story that ran Wednesday.
He described himself as “47 going on 22.”
Back when he was really that age, or close to it, Handy was a key player on the 1994 UH WAC tournament championship team. For his two-year UH career, the guard averaged 10 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Handy was one of the team’s outgoing personalities.
In Luis’ article, Handy spoke about his working relationship with Toronto general manager Bobby Webster, a 2002 ‘Iolani graduate who used to watch Handy during his college days. Luis did a separate story on Webster that ran today.
To boot, KHON’s Rob DeMello recently did a remote interview with Handy and dug up some old footage from his UH playing days.
— Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) May 29, 2019
Here’s some shots of Handy working with Toronto players this season, courtesy of Raptors.com.