Rob Pelinka: Darvin Ham Was ‘Unanimous’ Selection For Lakers Head Coach
Rob Pelinka Darvin Ham Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have introduced Darvin Ham as the team’s new head coach, accomplishing one of the tasks on the front office’s long to-do list for the summer.

Ham has made a tremendous impression on the Lakers. After his second interview, L.A. offered the position to the 48-year-old even without speaking with all three finalists for the job. The franchise’s leadership valued Ham’s charisma and no-nonsense approach — so much so all members of the committee tasked with picking the new head coach approved of the former Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks assistant’s candidacy.

During his introductory press conference, Lakers vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka said Ham was the ideal candidate to lead the team moving forward.

“This is a special place to be and we’re really excited to have you here. Turning to Coach Ham, it’s easy to be grateful when you find a candidate that you feel is the ideal fit for what the franchise is looking for and that’s what Coach Ham represents to us,” Pelinka said. “When you have a career coaching journey that starts out in the G League and you earn your stripes as a GM and as a head coach and your art takes you to strong franchises that have had success, including a championship at his last stop as a lead assistant coach on the Milwaukee Bucks, you have a certain DNA and fabric and strength of character.

“And it came through so powerfully to everybody in the coach’s committee when we did our interviews and we were able to land on Coach Ham as our unanimous choice to recommend to our owner Jeanie Buss for her approval. And I’m just incredibly proud to be able to sit next to him for what he stands for as a man and as a coach, as a dad, as a husband to arm together to lead this franchise to the next chapter.

“This is a historic day for us and just couldn’t be more excited as a general manager to introduce Darvin Ham as the new Lakers head coach.”

Pelinka assured of his confidence that Lakers players and fans will quickly buy into Ham’s philosophy.

“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,” he said.

“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 recognizes Anthony Davis as ‘key’ to Lakers’ revival

Ham said that sacrifice will be the leading theme of Lakers basketball during his reign. The new head coach also emphasized Anthony Davis’ role in the team’s return to winning days.

“I think he’s the key. We’ve all seen what can happen when he’s healthy when he’s playing at a high level,” Ham said.

“His ability to give multiple efforts defensively is key. It’s gonna be the foundation of the type of standard we set… It’s going to be built on that defense, and he’s going to be the centerpiece of it…We need consistency out of Anthony Davis. We need him to be healthy.

“We need him to be in a good mental space, and we need him to be consistent as possible and back to playing that championship-type basketball.”

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