After a lot of speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally found their head coach, signing Darvin Ham from the Milwaukee Bucks. Initially, the list for the next potential coach had been narrowed down to a few names that included Ham, but he had been tipped as the favorite since the beginning.
Darvin Ham was reportedly the first candidate the Lakers approached for the job during the interview process, and after a long and arduous process, they managed to get their man. Once former coach Frank Vogel got the chop, names started pouring in on who would take his place, but Ham had always been one of the favorites for the job. However, the offseason was not the first time he was linked to the job.
In 2018, he was attached to the helm and even received the approval of Klutch Sports and Lebron James. Their sentiments towards the former Bucks assistant coach never changed and eventually culminated in a strong final interview with owner Jeanie Buss in Los Angeles, another fan of Ham’s works.
Darvin Ham has created a nearly decade-long career with love and respect from the players in the locker room. After spending years as an assistant coach, he is finally returning to the Lakers side, having served as a player development coach for them between 2011 to 2013 under Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni. He would later join Mike Budenholzer, serving as an assistant with the Hawks and Bucks.
For most fans and pundits, the Lakers are taking a risk by bringing in a first-year head coach with a roster that will be built to win, but there are many examples of their decision paying off. For example, Ime Udoka was also a first-year coach who led the Boston Celtics deep into the playoffs. Likewise, Willie Green garnered success in New Orleans, making it to the playoffs this year. With their work in mind, the Lakers hope Ham will be the catalyst to push the team back into prominence.
The past season, the Lakers were one of the NBA’s worst teams with a record of 33-49 that made the 2020 title they won in Orlando seem like an old dream. Instead, Darvin Ham will be given the challenges of rebuilding a bottom-five defense and shifting the team around to get better chemistry.