Lakers News: Darvin Ham ‘Aligned’ With Jeanie Buss & Rob Pelinka Despite Recent Reports Regarding Job Security
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have really struggled lately, dropping 10 of their last 13 games to fall all the way down to 11th place in the Western Conference standings.

The poor play has brought the coaching of Darvin Ham into focus as a report came out that there is a disconnect between him and the players regarding Lakers lineups and inconsistent rotations.

Before Friday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Ham addressed those rumors and if they made him angry.

“Nah, it comes with the territory. I’m solid,” Ham said. “My governor, Jeanie Buss, the boss lady, our president, Robert Pelinka, we’re all aligned. As long as they’re not saying it, I guess, I’m good. Which I know how they feel about me in the situation we’re currently in. So we’re all on the same page.

“My two captains, I communicate with them, our communication has been at a high level. The one thing that’s crazy is that it reminds me of when I used to watch ’60 Minutes’ with my father in the ’80s and one particular show they were talking about La Cosa Nostra and the mafia and guys were starting to go to trial and the star witness shows up with a black potato sack over his head and shades due to fear and his name couldn’t really be released.

“This seems to be the standard of reporting now for NBA people on the internet or whatever. Not all reporters, I don’t want to disrespect anybody in the room. But when you say, ‘the source is anonymous’ by choice and they want to put their name on something but they want to give you the information and then you take that information and now everybody gets a chance to dissect it and spread it all out in their own way, it’s kind of disingenuous and I wish we would get to a place where people are firm enough to stand on what they’re saying. Then maybe we can have real dialogue and get to it. I don’t mind people critiquing the job I’m doing. All I’m gonna do is continue to do my job until I can’t do it anymore.

“So just be solid with what you’re putting out there and please don’t intertwine it with personal attacks either. That’s what it is, that’s what I signed up for when I decided to become a coach. I’ve been around some great guys that handle it well and some coaches that haven’t handled it so well. But me, I’m solid. I’ve been through a ton of ish in my life. This is a walk in the park, trust me.”

Ham went on to further discuss the things he can do to get the Lakers out of this rut. After losing to the Grizzlies, L.A. has dropped four straight and 10-of-13 to drop to 17-19 on the season.

“You try to just look internally to see what I could be doing better,” Ham added. “For me, it’s the film and really being efficient with that, being efficient whenever we’re able to step on the floor and really pinpointing the things that we’re able to work on, just being sharper. I’ve always invited feedback and participation from my staff members, really hearing their voices along with mine, obviously. I have to make the final decision on things from a coaching standpoint.

“But it’s really just taking in what everyone is seeing, it’s really just the same process. Circumstances change, injuries are a real part of professional sports and our performance team, they bust their behinds to make sure our players are available and can play at a high level.

“But guys have physical issues that sometimes when you come from a different team or whatever, draft someone, sign someone, whatever the case may be, sometimes there can be preexisting issues and the force that can be put into our game, I think we have the best athletes in all of sports all around the world, you’re gonna subject your body to issues. So the biggest thing is to try to navigate that and there’s gonna be times when guys are out of the lineup through the fault of no one, that’s just the way the game goes.

“So you have to navigate that as well and try to find the pieces that fit and can be in a good rhythm together in the short term and hopefully long term we get more bodies back and we can build out and try to put the thing together that we envisioned this summer. So it’s just a reality of the whole situation.

“With me, I’ve just tried to take it all in and control what I can control and really be at peace with what I can’t control. But constantly be solution-based, that’s all we’re doing. Just watching every little piece of film, every aspect of our game to see how we can be better and what we can change with the current circumstance.”

While Ham may feel comfortable right now, his seat could get warmer and warmer with each loss.

Darvin Ham discusses how Lakers players have handled roles changing

The issue amongst the players, according to reports, is about roles and lineups constantly changing. Ham talked about how his guys have handled that and how injuries have played a large part in it.

“Again, we’ve had a ton of players in and out of the lineup,” Ham said. “Vando was a starter for us that I think missed the first six, seven, eight weeks of the season. Gabe is someone that was gonna be a big part of our rotation and has missed all but five games. Different guys have been out.

“D-Lo is out now, Rui has been out a couple times. Cam has missed games here and there. You just have to navigate it, man. And guys need to know that when they step on the floor, they need to be ready to give the maximum amount of whatever they can give, regardless of being a starter or coming in off the bench. All hands have to be on deck.

“Because even with all that said, I still have two guys that have a ton of NBA miles on their bodies that are our captains that we have to also try and protect from injury. So it’s a lot. It’s a lot you have to juggle. But I just thank God for the opportunity to do this job and be with this organization because we’re definitely gonna figure it out. The message just has to be whenever your number is called, you just need to be prepared to compete at the highest level.”

Regardless of what the issue is, Ham and the Lakers need to get it sorted out quick or they risk falling further and further outside the playoff picture.

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