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The Lakers employed Darvin Ham to be their subsequent coach, sources informed The Occasions on Friday.
The choice got here after Ham met with the Lakers on Thursday in Los Angeles, capping a course of that started April 11 when the workforce fired Frank Vogel following its 33-49 season. The deal reportedly is for 4 years.
Ham, 48, spent the final 4 seasons as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks, profitable a championship final yr. He had an eight-year profession within the NBA as a participant, profitable a title in opposition to the Lakers with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
The Lakers haven’t introduced the rent and declined remark.
“So rattling excited,” LeBron James tweeted Friday night. “Congrats and welcome Coach Dham!!”
Based on sources with information of the method, Ham shall be given a considerable amount of autonomy, together with the flexibility to decide on his personal teaching employees. He’s anticipated to satisfy with present Lakers employees members subsequent week.
Ham impressed the Lakers along with his skill to speak and maintain individuals accountable, in response to sources, a vital component of their search to exchange Vogel.
“By way of what this workforce wants proper now, we really feel like with, clearly, superstars on our workforce, we would like a robust voice that’s in a position to encourage the gamers to play on the highest stage of competitors each night time,” common supervisor Rob Pelinka stated after the workforce fired Vogel. “And I feel that’s going to be one of many resounding qualities that we search for by way of holding all people from the highest participant on our workforce to the fifteenth man to a level of accountability.”
Sources stated the Lakers hoped to discover a candidate that might obtain organization-wide assist, one thing that wasn’t at all times the case with Vogel regardless of profitable the 2020 championship.
The Lakers, sources stated, interviewed former Portland coach Terry Stotts this week and deliberate on talking to Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson, however after assembly with Ham on Thursday, the Lakers determined they’d discovered their man.
In his virtually 10 years as an assistant to Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, Ham constructed a status for his skill to narrate to gamers with ardour, honesty and aggressive drive. He’s thought of a well-rounded coach that has barely extra defensive experience.
Ham’s journey to the NBA was unlikely, taking part in solely his senior yr of highschool basketball. He attended Otero Junior School in La Junta, Colo., for one season earlier than transferring to Texas Tech.
He achieved some nationwide fame within the 1996 NCAA match when he shattered the backboard with a dunk in opposition to North Carolina. A photograph of the slam landed him on the duvet of Sports activities Illustrated.
Ham went undrafted however signed with Denver, starting an NBA profession that included stops in Indiana, Washington, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Detroit. In 417 video games, he averaged 2.7 factors and a pair of.3 rebounds in 12.4 minutes. Ham additionally performed in Spain and the Philippines.
After working within the developmental league, Ham started his NBA teaching profession with the Lakers as a participant growth coach in 2011, working for Mike Brown.
In 2013, Ham went to Atlanta to work for Budenholzer, starting a relationship with him that may proceed on to Milwaukee.
His path from highschool to the NBA as a task participant and longtime assistant provides him a large base of data as he’s carved out a profession in skilled basketball.
He’ll be the twenty eighth coach in Lakers historical past and the fourth Black coach. Ham is the second first-time coach the Lakers have employed of their final three searches. The workforce employed former Laker Luke Walton in 2016 following his profitable stint as an assistant and interim coach in Golden State. Walton went 98-148 with the Lakers.
The search to land Ham was largely uneventful, a change from the drama-filled strategy of changing Walton in 2019. Throughout that course of, one favourite, Monty Williams, elected to take the job teaching the Phoenix Suns. One other, Tyronn Lue, couldn’t agree with the Lakers on key factors resembling wage, contract size and training employees choices.
Initially, league sources thought the Lakers would chase established coaches like Utah’s Quin Snyder, Toronto’s Nick Nurse and Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers. All three, nevertheless, are beneath contract, and with sparse draft capital, the Lakers lacked the compensation to amass a coach from one other workforce.
Snyder, sources stated, wasn’t excited by a transfer to the Lakers. Whereas Rivers appeared like a critical choice for some Lakers resolution makers, 76ers president Daryl Morey stated Rivers would stay with the workforce after they had been eradicated from the playoffs by Miami.
Michigan coach Juwan Howard, who interviewed with the Lakers in 2019, additionally was by no means a critical choice due to his want to stay with the Wolverines to educate his two sons.
Of their search, the workforce spoke with Ham, Stotts, Atkinson, former NBA coach Mark Jackson, Milwaukee assistant Charles Lee and Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin earlier than tightening the search to Ham, Stotts and Atkinson.
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