With Darvin Ham now officially the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the next question then becomes who will join his coaching staff. Filling out the right staff is always important, but even more so for someone like Ham, who is entering his first-ever head coaching job.
There has already been some news regarding Ham’s staff with the extremely well-respected Phil Handy as well as Quinton Crawford both agreeing to stay with L.A. as holdovers from Frank Vogel’s group. Additionally, former player and teammate of Ham’s, Rasheed Wallace, is a candidate to join the staff as well.
But one name that some believed could come with Ham from Milwaukee won’t be going anywhere.
Charles Lee, an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks whom the Lakers also interviewed for their own head coaching position, has been promoted to associate head coach in Milwaukee, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Sources: Bucks are promoting assistant Charles Lee to associate head coach under Mike Budenholzer. Lee has been a head coaching candidate for several teams over the past two seasons, and remains a candidate for the Jazz’s current opening. Milwaukee prioritized a new deal for Lee.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 11, 2022
Oftentimes when an assistant coach gets a head coaching position elsewhere, they bring over assistants from their previous stop usually in a higher position, and Lee was a prime candidate for Ham and L.A. He is already regarded highly enough for multiple teams to interview them for their head coaching position and he and Ham obviously have a rapport from their time in Milwaukee together.
But the Bucks were determined not to lose another of their top assistants and Lee will now be the second in command behind head coach Mike Budenholzer. The Bucks franchise obviously recognizes his importance as they apparently made it a priority to get a new deal for the rising young assistant.
For Ham and the Lakers, it means they will have to look elsewhere as the new head coach continues to fill out the remainder of his staff.
Rob Pelinka not concerned with Darvin Ham’s lack of head coach experience
If there is one concern with Ham it is his lack of experience as this is his first head coaching job, though he has been an assistant for many years. With the Lakers having championship expectations, that can be difficult for a coach in his first time in the position. But general manager Rob Pelinka isn’t concerned with that.
“I think you can look at the NBA Finals right now. Coach Kerr and Coach Udoka, those are both first-time coaches,” Pelinka said. “And when you go through an interview process and come across someone that’s incredible talented, especially with unique characteristics are perfectly aligned with what you’re looking for for this team, that becomes a moot point.
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