The Los Angeles Lakers have been known to have a deep supporting cast around their head coach. Under former head coach Frank Vogel, the staff included former head coaches like Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins and David Fizdale.
A similar formula was used here with new head coach Darvin Ham. With the only returner to the staff being Phil Handy, the criteria to surround Ham with a staff that believes in his team philosophy caused the Lakers to bring in assistant coaches who can preach the system and toughness Ham wants to create next season.
One of the notable assistant coaching hires was former Brooklyn Nets’ assistant coach Jordan Ott, who was known as the offensive coordinator for an offense that featured Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Ott is currently coaching the Lakers’ Summer League team in Las Vegas, and is gaining experience implementing Ham’s system and building relationships with the young guys rocking the Purple & Gold.
After a 104-84 loss to the Phoenix Suns in the Las Vegas opener, Ott was asked why he decided to join Ham’s staff this season with a Lakers team that needs to put the puzzle pieces together.
“So I’ve known Darvin for nine years now and just his ability to relate to everyone, it doesn’t matter who you are, he relates to everyone,” Ott said. “He brings a joy and spirit everyday to work. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Working with him to try to find solutions. I’m trying to be here to make his job better everyday. Tonight I feel bad because we disappointed only having 11 assists, but that’s something the head coach obviously looks at. We didn’t share the ball enough tonight, but I’m so thankful that he brought us here together. We’ll do whatever it takes to help succeed.”
The Lakers have valued previous experience and relationship with Ham to be one of his assistants. New lead assistant Chris Jent also shares prior coaching experience with Ham similar to Ott. It is an Atlanta Hawks reunion with all three coaches sharing a working bond with the team under Mike Budenholzer several years ago.
A winning attitude like Ott’s complements the vision Ham has for the new-look Lakers next season. In order to change the tune from last season, the team had to start with the sideline leaders to put the new team spirit in place.
Darvin Ham’s Pitch To Lakers Was Founded Upon Three Words
The interview process that took place in the spring for the Lakers’ head coaching job came down to three candidates. Terry Stats and Kenny Atkinson were candidates with head coaching experience, but Ham was the rookie of the group.
With needing to stand out in order to be hired for the Lakers head coaching gig, Ham based his hiring pitch on three words he believes will help the Lakers be successful next season – competitiveness, togetherness and accountability.
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