Hawks’ Quin Snyder Reveals Advice To Darvin Ham After Taking Lakers Job
Quin Snyder, Hawks, Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Two summers ago, the Los Angeles Lakers took a chance on Darvin Ham, who never had a head coaching job but made the rounds as an assistant. When hired, Ham came into a high-pressure situation trying to win a championship with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Before his first season, Ham asked experienced head coaches for guidance to prepare for coaching one of the biggest franchises in all of sports. One of those coaches was now Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Synder, who had just parted ways with the Utah Jazz. Snyder and Ham were assistants together on the Lakers a decade ago and remained very close, so Ham often consulted him on things before he took the Hawks job.

Before the Lakers and Hawks faced off on Monday, Synder revealed his message to Ham when mentoring him at the beginning of last season during L.A.’s struggles.

“I think as much as anything, we’ve communicated over the years and over the course of the season,” Synder said. “I think over the summer when he got the job, I wasn’t working and he’s one of my closest friends. So a lot of the things we talked about at that point were like planning related and how he wanted to play. And then I did come down, I was in Austin and they were in San Antonio, and I came down and they were grinding at that point.”

“The conversations we had were just like, this is the NBA and there’s adversity and you just keep doing what you think is right and you persevere. Our dialogue together was more along those lines as much as anything. Obviously I think anybody who is coaching in this league knows how challenging it is and sometimes as much as anything, you need some support to kind of see the big picture because you can get really focused on a result on a given night or during any given time.”

Things could have easily unraveled, but thanks to trades and better personnel, Ham was able to take the team to the Western Conference Finals. Synder credits Ham’s perseverance in the Lakers turning the season around.

“It’s hard for me to talk about their team as much as anything because there’s so many factors that go into that that I’m not as keenly aware of,” he said. “But I can speak on that he’s always been someone that I’ve been able to turn to during difficult times. That’s precisely because there’s a perseverance about his character that he’s only not only able to live that, but that givers him a unique ability to support through that. So I think he’s that mentally tough and also it’s not just like you’re banging and trying to knock down a wall, there’s more to it than that as far as trying to have the subtle feel of situations and understanding people and being able to adapt and adjust. So I would attribute that to all those things.”

This season presented similar challenges for Ham, as the team is underperforming with the expectations that were placed on the Lakers following free agency. But, having the support from an experienced coach in Synder must help when navigating through the ups and downs of the regular season.

Darvin Ham discusses how Lakers can improve their 3-point defense

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Lakers offense has been humming in comparison to the beginning of the season. However, the defense is diving, in particular of defending the 3-point line, so Ham discussed how they can fix that issue moving forward.

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