Darvin Ham’s coaching staff will seemingly include assistants who have some familiarity with the franchise, players, or the Los Angeles Lakers head coach himself.
Phil Handy and Quinton Crawford had reportedly agreed to remain with the Lakers having served as the team’s assistants for the last three years — but latest reports claim the latter might still leave L.A. and join the Dallas Mavericks coaching staff.
The Lakers are also understood to be looking to replace David Fizdale, Mike Penberthy and John Lucas III.
Ham has confirmed that Purple and Gold are considering former teammate and fellow 2004 NBA champion with the Detroit Pistons, Rasheed Wallace, for the position. And according to L.A. Times reporter Brad Turner, the Lakers have also shown interest in Atlanta Hawks assistant Chris Jent, who over a decade ago worked with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Sources: Chris Jent/Rasheed Wallace both are candidates to be assistant coaches on Lakers coach Darvin Ham's staff. Jent is an assistant with Atlanta and was an assistant with Cleveland when LeBron James was there. Wallace and Ham were teammates on Detroit's 2004 NBA title team.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) June 18, 2022
Jent became James’ personal shooting coach in Cleveland. Before the now-four-time NBA champion left the Cavaliers, his field goal percentage improved from around 47% to over 50% —and his 3-point efficiency rose by a couple of percentage points.
Previous reports claim Ham wanted an assistant with previous head coaching experience to join his staff. But the only candidate who ticks that box and has been linked with the Lakers is Terry Stotts — who reportedly told L.A. he wasn’t interested in a lead assistant’s position.
Rob Pelinka believes Darvin Ham will bring toughness to Lakers
The committee tasked with finding a new head coach unanimously chose Ham to take over at the Lakers. Vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said the 48-year-old made a strong impression on L.A.’s leadership with the emphasis on sacrifice and toughness in his coaching style.
“The things that stood out to Darvin in the interview process was the two words he’s been using,” Pelinka said. “One is sacrifice, he was a player in the league that made every sacrifice to be great. He wasn’t a superstar, he knew what it took to fill in the gaps, to do the little things that it takes teams to be great, like the championship team he was on.”
“And then toughness. I think one of the things we lacked as a team last year was an identity of toughness and I think we’re excited to see how Coach with his leadership style will bring those attributes to our team next year. And as he said, there’s gonna be expectations, especially on the defensive end that those words carry forward. Words like toughness and sacrifice and accountability and that’s what Coach Ham’s leadership stands for and represents.”
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