Lakers Schedule Leaks: Dates Of Darvin Ham’s Return To Milwaukee & LeBron James’ Return To Cleveland
Darvin Ham Giannis Antetokounmpo Lakers
(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Perhaps the biggest change the Los Angeles Lakers made this offseason was at the head coaching position. Darvin Ham will now be in charge of the Lakers, his first head coaching position after years of being an assistant coach, most recently with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ham joined the Bucks in 2018, following head coach Mike Budenholzer when he left Atlanta for Milwaukee after five seasons with the Hawks. Ham was extremely well-respected in Milwaukee for the work he put in there and helped the team capture the 2021 NBA Championship.

Many within the Bucks organization, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, praised and congratulated him upon getting the Lakers job. His return to Milwaukee will likely be an emotional one for him, and according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, that will take place at the beginning of December:

This will be a good early-season test for the Lakers as while there are a lot of questions about how good they’ll be this season, there are none surrounding the Bucks. Milwaukee is again expected to be one of the favorites to capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy and if the Lakers are able to get off to a good start during the season, heading to Milwaukee and taking on the Bucks will show everyone exactly where they stand amongst the top teams.

It is also an always anticipated matchup between Antetokounmpo and Lakers superstar LeBron James. In the eyes of many, it is the Bucks star who has taken the torch of NBA’s best player from LeBron, though Giannis himself has said that he still sees the Lakers’ star as someone he is trying to reach in some regards. Nonetheless, the Lakers will be focused on getting Ham a victory in his return.

L.A. heading to Cleveland not long after that contest is yet another return as James always seems to put on a show in his hometown. The Cavaliers also took a huge leap and are one of the most promising young teams in the league so they will look to make a statement at the Lakers’ expense.

Lakers-Mavericks, Warriors-Grizzlies headline NBA Christmas Day slate

Not long after those road trips, the Lakers will be back on the road again, somewhat surprisingly on Christmas Day. The Lakers usually are at home, but this year they will head to Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks in one of the premier matchups of the league’s signature day.

The leader of the previous era in LeBron facing off with the face of the new in Luka is the ideal matchup, and the Lakers and Mavericks have produced some absolutely riveting contests the past couple of years.

Perhaps the most anticipated Christmas meeting, however, comes between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies. A heated playoff series between the two has set the foundation for one of the league’s fastest-rising rivalries and all eyes will be on this matchup to see the next chapter.

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