The Los Angeles Lakers faithful celebrated the franchise’s hiring of Darvin Ham as the new head coach, rooting for the former Milwaukee Bucks assistant to get the job long before it became reality.
Ham made a great impression on L.A.’s leadership during the interview process, highlighting his no-nonsense coaching style. The committee tasked with finding a new head coach unanimously recommended Ham to Lakers governor Jeanie Buss.
The Purple and Gold immediately signed the 48-year-old following his second interview — without speaking again to the last candidate, Kenny Atkinson, who made the final round.
Asked how he convinced L.A. he wouldn’t find a better candidate for the job, Ham told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears he had said the Lakers under him would preach the virtues of competitiveness, togetherness and accountability:
What was your selling point to the Lakers when you interviewed for the head coach job?
We ain’t about all the bells and whistles. I just told them, ‘These guys need to be coached. They need to be coached hard.’ It was three words that led my whole interview process. The three words I believe in, the three words that made me who I am, and the three words that are going forward with this new Lakers era. And that is competitiveness, togetherness, and accountability.
And that rung true. They’re seeing it with the type of staff I’m putting together. They’ve seen it with the type of energy, the new energy that’s in the building. No disrespect to none of these teams at the bottom of the food chain, but I’m not coming from one of those teams. I’m coming from an organization [the Milwaukee Bucks] that’s fresh off a championship and knows how to do things.
Ham reunited with the Lakers nearly a decade after leaving the team following his two-year stint as its assistant coach. The 2004 NBA champion joined Mike Brown’s staff in L.A. in 2011 — at the same time as Phil Handy.
Handy recently said he had kept in touch with Ham despite going in separate ways in 2013. The current Lakers assistant added he was “excited to be a part of this new journey with [Ham].”
Ham: Lakers will ‘take care’ of Anthony Davis
From the very beginning, Ham emphasized Anthony Davis’ importance to the Lakers’ success.
The head coach said he will “take care” of the 28-year-old forward and both his physical and mental needs to make sure he can be his best self again.
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