The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they have officially hired Darvin Ham to be their new head coach. While they only announced it as a “multi-year deal,” the contract is reported to be for four years.
Ham becomes the 28th head coach in franchise history, replacing Frank Vogel, who was let go after the Lakers missed the postseason in 2021-22.
This marks the first head coaching gig for Ham, although he has a ton of experience after playing eight years in the NBA and serving as an assistant since 2011. He is familiar with the Lakers organization having coached under Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni from 2011-13.
Most recently, Ham has coached on Mike Budenholzer’s staff with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks, winning a championship last year.
“When someone begins his NBA coaching career at the G League level and goes all the way through playing an integral role on the front bench of an NBA Championship team, it really speaks to a certain strength of character. Our players and fans will immediately identify with Darvin’s no-nonsense and hard-working approach, which we feel will bring toughness and a competitive edge to all we do,” said Rob Pelinka. “When you add that to Darvin’s sophisticated grasp of in-game strategy and deep knowledge of the game of basketball, we have the ideal coach for this next chapter in Lakers history. We could not be more honored and proud to name Darvin Ham as our new head coach.”
Ham will face the tough task of getting the Lakers back into championship contention, although his toughness and ability to relate to players are qualities that should help make that happen.
With Ham now in place, the Lakers can focus on putting a roster together alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Whether Russell Westbrook will be a part of the team remains to be seen, although how the point guard would be utilized was reportedly discussed in coaching interviews.
Additionally, Ham is expected to be given the autonomy to select his own coaching staff, so that will be on the agenda as well in the coming days and weeks.
In the meantime, Ham will be introduced during a press conference at the Lakers’ practice facility on Monday, June 3.
James gives stamp of approval on Ham hire
A big topic of conversation during the Lakers’ coaching search was who James would prefer. While he originally was intrigued by the idea of hiring Mark Jackson according to reports, Ham was believed to be his preferred candidate of the finalists.
James went on to give his stamp of approval once news came out that Ham was being hired, welcoming his new head coach on social media.
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