When the Los Angeles Lakers hired first-year head coach Darvin Ham, the questions of whether or not team leaders like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook would buy into his coaching philosophy loomed over the organization.
Now with a full preseason and two primetime regular season games under the team’s belt, the change Ham has made in L.A is evident on and off the court in the Lakers new defensive scheme and effort level each game.
During an interview with Andscape’s Marc J. Spears, Davis relayed his thoughts on the impact Ham has had on the team’s system and culture so far:
“I love him and his system,” Davis told Andscape. “He is one of those coaches you would run through a brick wall for. He got your back to make you work hard for him. He’s definitely a player’s coach. He’s been great for all of us. He lets us play freely offensively and keeps a defensive edge.
“We will go back and look at [the loss] and learn. He calls it wins and lessons. There are lessons with our loss.”
The hiring pitch for Ham was his ability to relate to everyone in the locker room and hold even his star players accountable for their performance. The 29-year-old big man seems to be seeing the reason why Ham fits the Lakers this early in the season, and is accepting of the encouragement from Ham.
It is a good sign for the Lakers that their superstar big man approves of the performance of the head coach. With the buy-in factor being high, the future is bright for a Lakers team that looks to continue to mesh and find more firepower on the offensive end.
Through two games, Davis has averaged 26 points and 7 rebounds on 50% shooting.
Ham Nearly Shed A Tear During Head-Coaching Debut
Sometimes it’s bigger than basketball. To be a coach on any level in the NBA is special, but being a head coach for the 17-time championship franchise in the Lakers is one of a kind.
During the Lakers’ season opener on Thursday against the Golden State Warriors, emotions were high for the defending champion Golden State Warriors as well as Ham as he made his head-coaching debut.
Reflecting on his journey to the head coaches seat, Ham stated that he nearly shed a tear when thinking about how far and how real this opportunity to be a head coach in the NBA and for the Lakers is.
The man behind the clipboard has never been afraid to showcase his raw emotions. Ham’s realness and willingness to be himself has been a reason why the Lakers have transformed defensively and gained the intangibles of toughness and hustle.
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