It was another rough night for the Los Angeles Lakers as they were ran off the court in the second half against the Utah Jazz. Darvin Ham’s team now sits at 2-8 to start the season with a lot of questions about whether or not they can turn things around.
It is an unfortunate way to begin his first-ever head coaching job, but Ham is not losing focus or confidence in what this team can accomplish. While many are down, Ham made it clear that this is simply the beginning and he doesn’t plan on things remaining this way for the Lakers.
Following Monday night’s loss to the Jazz, Ham spoke about changing the culture of the Lakers, saying that he didn’t come to L.A. to lose and that this team will turn the corner eventually, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“I would say this, man. And write it, quote it, however,” Ham told reporters, beginning an impassioned diatribe about the state of the Lakers. “This may be happening now at the outset of what we’re trying to force to be a culture change in terms of getting us back to being highly competitive on a highly consistent basis, but it’s not going to always be like this.
“We’re going to turn the corner. I didn’t come here to lose. They didn’t bring me here to lose.”
Ham would continue on, noting that he wants the Lakers to embrace this feeling they have right now so that when things do change, they can look back and reflect on what they came from:
“There is a process involved where we have to go through tough times,” Ham continued. “Like, I want to bottle this up. I want to embrace it. I want to have it and store it so when things are turned around and we get too comfortable and we start complaining about some problems that are not even necessarily problems — problems that winning teams go through — I want to be able to reflect on these times.”
It is this type of belief and energy that makes Ham so respected and well-liked by his players. Throughout all of this, he has never gotten down on the Lakers and continues to push and believe that as long as they continue to put in the work, things will change.
Perhaps some roster changes could be incoming and the Lakers will be able to add some pieces they need, but one thing that is for certain is that Ham does not intend on them being at the bottom of the standings for long and will do everything in his power to make sure that happens.
Ham fine with Lakers having fun as long as they’re playing hard
Playing hard and competing is what Ham is all about and what he wants the Lakers to embrace, but he also wants them to have fun as well. As long as the team is playing hard together, he has no issues with the players celebrating and having fun on the court.
“Yeah man, just playing hard, playing together, playing smart,” Ham said. “But we have to have fun as well. It’s still a fun game to play. If you’re lucky enough to play it at this level, I’m not one of those coaches that, as long as we’re not disrespecting the other team, our opponents or our teammates for that matter by being silly, but there’s nothing wrong with pure and genuine enthusiasm.”
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