Darvin Ham Praises Nuggets But Guarantees Lakers Will Be Problem To Be Dealt With
Darvin Ham, Lakers, Nuggets
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It was a wild first year for Darvin Ham as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach as he overcame a 2-10 start to lead them to the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers revamped their roster at the trade deadline, giving Ham better fitting tools around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With more talent and depth at his disposal, Ham showed he could credibly lead Los Angeles in the playoffs.

The purple and gold’s postseason run ended when the Denver Nuggets swept them in the Western Conference Finals. Ham gave the Nuggets all the praise they could handle, but he also emphasized that the Lakers are just getting started going forward.

“I mean, we really submerged ourselves in everything we could possibly do in terms of trying to defeat the Denver Nuggets and each game even though at the very end especially Game 4, giving ourselves a chance, putting ourselves in a position to be successful. My hat’s off to them. They’re a phenomenal ball club. They have a lot of synergy, a lot of chemistry, they had a lot of consistency. Their ownership group, their front office, their coaching staff and they have a well-balanced team and with two hell of a players and again, some really formidable rotation guys.

“I don’t feel I’m disappointed that we’re not moving on, but I’m not upset or discouraged because I know the type of work myself, Rob, our coaching staff, the players, what we put in to try to present a formidable opponent in ourselves to go against them. But there’s a reason why they were at the top of the food chain. Again, I have nothing but respect for Mike Malone and his staff and what they were able to do. And again, I’m disappointed that a lot of things that were in our control we couldn’t execute that are kind of intangible things to the game. But sometimes that’s the way the ball bounces. I’ve been on both sides of it throughout my career. A team that you feel like you could have competed better against and probably moved on from to continue your journey. But sometimes it’s just other people’s time and this year it’s their time and I’m not saddened to say that.

“I’m a humble guy, I just call it like it is. They have a well-balanced squad that’s playing at a high level and we did our best, we put our best foot forward each and every time we stepped out there and we had some things that we didn’t execute and just didn’t quite go our way. But make no mistake about it, this is not just a one-shot deal. We’re gonna be around. We’re gonna be a problem to be dealt with, I can guarantee you that.”

Ham previously reflected on his year in L.A. and it sounds like he’s going to be just as hungry to get them back deep in the postseason next year.

Rob Pelinka says Lakers will support LeBron James as he mulls retirement

Although Ham is determined to get the Lakers back on top, their chances next year almost entirely depend on what LeBron James decides to do. James recently shared he could choose to retire following his twentieth year, but Rob Pelinka said he and the organization will support him with whatever decision he makes.

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