Head coach Darvin Ham’s introductory press conference has sparked hope among the Los Angeles Lakers faithful that the franchise will soon return to winning days.
Ham tapped into his history with the Lakers on Monday, saying it feels like a “homecoming” to take over as head coach in L.A. having served as the team’s assistant a decade ago. The 48-year-old also vowed to keep the players accountable, naming “sacrifice” as the leading theme of his reign.
Lakers fans seemed exhilarated by what they heard from Ham during the press conference. He also seems to have won Magic Johnson over with his vision for the team. After the presser, Magic shared his thoughts on Ham’s first official appearance as Lakers head coach:
The Lakers press conference to introduce my friend, Darvin Ham, as the coach of the Lakers was truly amazing. I enjoyed listening to him talk about accountability, defense, spacing on the offensive end, sacrifice, competitiveness, and toughness.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 6, 2022
Johnson then added Ham’s championship pedigree to the list of the new head coach’s strengths. “He won a championship as a coach with the Bucks and as a player with the Pistons. He knows winning and championship basketball!” the Lakers legend tweeted.
After the press conference, vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka said he had no doubts that L.A.’s fans and players will “immediately identify with Darvin’s no-nonsense and hard-working approach.”
Pelinka: Ham was ‘unanimous’ pick for Lakers head coach
Pelinka said Ham proved to be “the ideal fit for what the franchise is looking for” in his interviews with the Lakers’ leadership, emphasizing the 2004 NBA champion’s winning DNA and strength of character.
“And it came through so powerfully to everybody in the coach’s committee when we did our interviews and we were able to land on Coach Ham as our unanimous choice to recommend to our owner Jeanie Buss for her approval,” the general manager said.
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