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Cavs Phil Handy's Speech About Effort, Not Winning, During NBA Finals

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Phil Handy is the Director of Player Development and Assistant Coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs), and Founder of 94 Feet of Game. Phil played collegiately at the University of Hawaii Manoa and then went on to play professional basketball in the NBA (Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers) and had a European career that included teams in Israel, Italy, France, England, and Germany. In addition to coaching professionally in the NBA, Phil is one of the premier trainers on the West Coast working with NBA, European, College, and Elite High School basketball players on many facets of the game.

In this video, Handy shares that basketball has always been his passion, and that passion was never more obvious in the 2016 NBA Finals. After Game 2 of an epic 2016 NBA Finals, Phil Handy gave a passionate speech to his Cavaliers team about effort. The Cavaliers lost the first two games of the series and it looked like they were a less talented team. Although most coaches may demean their players for not being talented enough or winning a game, Handy's speech focused on effort.

Although Handy got angry during the speech (which may not be appropriate for all levels of sport), Handy's overall message was to challenge the team to give more effort and "wake up." It may have been different if the message only came because the team lost, but when Handy diagnosed it as lack of effort and challenged the team to put forth more effort regardless of outcome, the outcomes shifted. Many attribute this focus on effort to changing the series around and ultimately helping the Cavs win the series. Handy urges coaches to focus more on effort than results, and attributes result to a change in effort more than anything.