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Thank You or Tank You? Lakers Rumored to Part Ways with Coach Darvin Ham

Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers face a big decision this offseason, and it likely involves a change in leadership. With the first-round playoff exit to the Denver Nuggets still fresh, rumors are swirling that Head Coach Darvin Ham’s time with the Lakers might be up.

Why the Heat on Darvin Ham?

  • Disappointing Finish: The Lakers’ early playoff exit fell short of expectations, especially considering LeBron James’ future with the team being uncertain.
  • Coaching Decisions: Darvin Ham’s rotations and player usage throughout the season were a source of frustration for fans and some Lakers insiders. Benching key players like Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell raised eyebrows.
  • Lack of Progress: While Darvin Ham led the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals last year, the team’s inability to overcome the Nuggets again raises questions about his ability to take them to the next level.

A Look Back: Darvin Ham’s Tenure with the Lakers

  • June 2022: Ham is hired as the Lakers’ head coach after a successful stint as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis healthy, are seen as contenders.
  • 2022-23 Season:
    • Strong Start: The Lakers surprise many with a strong start, led by LeBron James’ MVP-caliber play.
    • Injuries and Inconsistency: Injuries and questionable coaching decisions plague the Lakers throughout the season.
    • Western Conference Finals Run: Despite the struggles, the Lakers manage to reach the Western Conference Finals, but fall short against the Denver Nuggets.
  • 22-23 Playoffs: The Lakers lose to the Denver Nuggets in the first round, sparking questions about Ham’s future.

Darvin Ham: A Deep Dive

Here’s a more comprehensive look at Darvin Ham, encompassing his playing career and current role as the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach:

Playing Career (1996-2005):

  • Drafted in the second round: Ham entered the league in 1996, drafted 57th overall by the Denver Nuggets [Basketball Reference].
  • High-flying Forward: Earning nicknames like “Dunkin Darvin” and “Ham Slamwich,” Ham was known for his explosiveness and powerful dunks [Wikipedia].
  • Well-Traveled: Darvin Ham played for eight teams throughout his career, including the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns [Basketball Reference].
  • Championship Pedigree: A key contributor to the Detroit Pistons’ 2004 championship run, Darvin Ham provided energy and defensive hustle off the bench [Wikipedia].

Coaching Career (2008-Present):

  • Early Steps: Ham began his coaching journey as an assistant with the Austin Toros (now called the Austin Spurs) in the NBA D-League (now called the NBA G League) in 2008 [SI.com].
  • Assistant Coach Rise: He climbed the coaching ranks, holding assistant positions with the Lakers (under Mike Brown), Atlanta Hawks (under Mike Budenholzer), and Milwaukee Bucks (under Budenholzer again) [ESPN].
  • Defensive Guru: Ham gained a reputation for his defensive schemes and emphasis on player development [The Athletic].
  • Head Coach of the Lakers (2022-Present): Tasked with reviving the Lakers after a disappointing season, Ham became the team’s head coach in 2022 [ESPN].
  • Challenges and Uncertain Future: The Lakers’ struggles in the 2022-2023 season, including missing the playoffs, have cast doubt on Ham’s future with the team [SI.com].

Additional Points of Interest:

  • Playing Style: While known for his dunks, Darvin Ham was also a capable rebounder and defender during his playing days.
  • Coaching Philosophy: Ham emphasizes a strong defensive identity, player accountability, and a focus on fundamentals.
  • Leadership Style: Described as a demanding but fair coach, Darvin Ham prioritizes building strong relationships with his players.

Uncertain Future:

While it’s too early to say definitively, media reports suggest the Lakers might be looking for a new coach next season [SI.com]. Ham’s performance in his first year as head coach, along with the Lakers’ overall direction, will likely determine his future with the team.

What’s Next for the Lakers?

  • Official Announcement: Reports suggest the Lakers are expected to make an official decision on Ham’s future soon.
  • Coaching Carousel: With big names potentially available, the Lakers will be a hot destination for coaching candidates. Who will take the helm and try to lead LeBron James and the Lakers back to championship glory?

Fan Reaction: Divided Opinions

  • Some Lakers fans are eager for a fresh start, believing a new coach can unlock the team’s potential.
  • Others are hesitant, worried that letting go of Darvin Ham might disrupt the team’s chemistry, especially with LeBron potentially entering a new chapter in his career.

Stay Tuned!

The Lakers’ coaching situation is a developing story. Keep an eye out for official announcements and stay tuned for who might be the next person tasked with leading the purple and gold back to the promised land.

Related Links:

Coach Darvin Ham | Lakers Rumored to Part Ways | 2024

Don't miss the latest Lakers shakeup! Insider sources say the team is eyeing a coaching change in 2024. Get the scoop on who could replace Darvin Ham!

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