Lakers Rumors: Bucks Assistant Darvin Ham Hired As Head Coach
Darvin Ham, Lakers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers made the difficult decision to part ways with head coach Frank Vogel after missing the playoffs this past season.

While Vogel led the organization to its 17th championship in 2020, the Lakers felt it was best to move on to get a new voice in the locker room in hopes of getting back into championship contention in 2022-23.

The Lakers were diligent in their search for Vogel’s replacement interviewing six different candidates from different backgrounds. They eventually landed on three finalists in Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson.

They brought all three in for in-person interviews this week and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, they have decided to hire Ham:

After the first round of interviews, it had been reported that Ham made the strongest impression of the bunch and was LeBron James’ preferred choice, so he has been considered the favorite all along.

While this will be Ham’s first head coaching gig, he brings a ton of experience to the table as a former NBA player from 1996-2005 and then as an assistant since 2011. His first NBA assistant coaching job came with the Lakers from 2011-13 so he is familiar with the organization.

Ham getting a four-year contract is notable considering they were only willing to offer three years in their last head coaching search. That wound up ending negotiations with Ty Lue and landing them Vogel instead.

Now that Ham is the helm, the next step will be surrounding him with an adequate coaching staff. Ham is known to be a defensive-minded coach so the Lakers will likely look to bring in an offensive mind to put on the bench.

The Lakers reportedly have interest in Stotts for that position although he previously did not have interest. Now that Ham has officially landed the head coaching job though, perhaps Stotts will have a change of heart if he does not get hired by the Charlotte Hornets, who are the only other team currently with a vacancy.

The way Wojnarowski’s final Tweet is worded makes it seem like Ham may be selecting his own coaching staff, which would be another change from the last coaching search.

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