New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham laid out his vision for the team during his introductory press conference on Monday — and Anthony Davis appears to be central to the 48-year-old’s plans.
Davis started his Lakers career by winning a championship alongside LeBron James in the Orlando bubble three years ago. But since then, the eight-time All-Star has missed more games than he has played, struggling with several ankle and knee injuries.
The 28-year-old also hasn’t had the same impact on the Lakers’ defense as he did in the championship 2019-20 season when he finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year award voting.
Ham wants Davis to reemerge as the anchor of L.A.’s defense, saying the forward’s effort on that side of the floor will be the “foundation” of the Purple and Gold’s return to playing championship-level basketball.
“I think he’s the key. We’ve all seen what can happen when he’s healthy when he’s playing at a high level,” Ham said.
“His ability to give multiple efforts defensively is key. It’s gonna be the foundation of the type of standard we set… It’s going to be built on that defense, and he’s going to be the centerpiece of it… We need consistency out of Anthony Davis. We need him to be healthy.
“We need him to be in a good mental space, and we need him to be consistent as possible and back to playing that championship-type basketball.”
Ham discusses Rasheed Wallace as candidate for Lakers coaching staff
As Ham started to assemble his coaching staff, reports emerged his former Detroit Pistons teammate, Rasheed Wallace, would become one of his assistants. The new Lakers head coach confirmed that Wallace is among potential candidates for the job but added he is yet to be offered the position.
“In regards to Rasheed, that’s an active situation,” Ham said. “That’s fluid. We’re still working through that. That’s not true at all, but he’s definitely a candidate that we’ll take a look at. But we’re working through that.
“We have a list of names and some people that’s currently under contract. We’re working with some very talented young coaches and we’re working through that to try to put together the best staff possible.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!