The Los Angeles Lakers are hiring Darvin Ham as head coach, multiple sources confirmed to The Athletic. Los Angeles fired former coach Frank Vogel on April 11, the day after the regular season ended.
Ham, 48, has been on staff with the Bucks as an assistant to Mike Budenholzer since 2018, winning his first NBA championship as a coach during the 2020-21 season. He returns to Los Angeles after serving as an assistant with the Lakers from 2011 to 2013. Ham also served as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks from 2013 to 2018.
“So damn EXCITED!!!!!!!!” LeBron James wrote on Twitter. “Congrats and welcome Coach DHam!!”
Ham’s playing career spanned from 1996 to 2005. Ham also won an NBA championship coming off the bench for the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
The other finalists for the job were Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. The Lakers (33-49) finished 11th in the Western Conference, failing to make the playoffs.
Hall of Famer and former Lakers vice president Magic Johnson said on Monday that he wanted a former player to be hired as the Lakers’ next coach.
“Probably besides Erik Spoelstra, all the other three that’s in the final four are ex-players,” he told The Athletic. “So I think that says a lot about these young ex-players who command respect right away, who have done it before. I’m not saying it has to be an ex-player, but I’m saying you have to look at what’s going on.
“But the most important thing to me is accountability. They must hold everybody, one through 15, accountable. And we got away from accountability. Guys never talked about that this season. It was always somebody else’s fault. I hated that. Never, ‘Hey, I played bad. Hey, It’s on me.’ So whether it’s an ex-player or not, but the trend is ex-players. But if not, I want a coach that’s going to hold everybody accountable. And, so, that’s what I would like to see.”
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