Sources tell Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic that Bucks assistant Darvin Ham has made the “strongest impression” on Lakers brass thus far in interviews, and appears to be the leading candidate for the head coaching job.
As we relayed earlier today, Ham, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, and former Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts are reportedly finalists for the position.
Los Angeles’ leadership is looking for a coach “who can command respect and authority from the locker room” while maintaining a strong voice and presence in order to manage the differing personalities throughout team’s roster. Ham’s “no-nonsense style and ability to resonate with his players” has impressed the Lakers to this point, according to Charania and Amick.
They aren’t listed as finalists, but Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin haven’t been eliminated from consideration yet. However, former Warriors coach Mark Jackson is no longer a candidate, per The Athletic’s duo.
Here’s more on the Lakers’ coaching search, courtesy of Charania and Amick:
- Owner Jeanie Buss will meet the finalists during their in-person interviews, which will occur soon. She has not been involved in the process to this point.
- The team’s search committee is headed by VP of basketball operations and GM Rob Pelinka, and it will make the final decision on who’s hired. Buss plans to defer to the committee’s recommendation. Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson, who are reportedly advising Buss despite not having official roles, are not part of the search committee. LeBron James isn’t on it either — only Lakers officials are.
- After a disappointing season and lots of turmoil surrounding the franchise over the past few years, including the poorly executed firing of former head coach Frank Vogel, Buss “is determined to assuage any and all of the finalists’ concerns about the organization” as the team concludes its search, says Charania and Amick. She plans to deliver a message centered on providing the necessary resources and support for the Lakers to be successful going forward.
- The team is still operating as though Russell Westbrook will be on the roster next season, which is why the coaching candidates have been asked how they’d use him. Assuming the Lakers are unable to find a trade for Westbrook, which would undoubtedly be difficult given his enormous ($47MM) player option and declining play, releasing him isn’t considered a viable alternative, nor is having him away from the team, like the Rockets did with John Wall this past season, per Charania and Amick.
- However, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that he remains skeptical Westbrook will be on the roster in 2022/23. Stein notes that while the team is reluctant to part with future first-round picks to grease the wheels on a Westbrook deal, creating a “fresh-start atmosphere” for next season will be very difficult if he’s still on the Lakers.
15 thoughts on “Darvin Ham Leading Candidate To Become New Lakers Coach?”
Addition by subtraction….. figure it out Lakers, Westbrook has to go. Hey, Phil Jackson likes him. He made 60M from the Knicks, let Phil pay ‘em 47M… If you keep him, he is the perfect 6th man off the bench. New coach needs to sell him on that…..
When the lakers do hire a coach and they going to tell them or just let woj leak it?
May 22, 2002….
20 year anniversary of the Cavs having an 11th grade high school kid in the Gund Arena practice gym for an “illegal” workout – and he was the best player in the gym.
It’s not healthy being a fanboy.
One must wonder why the greatest franchise in hoops can’t get even a half decent HC…
Notwithstanding that they have some superstars in the team, you assume all the HC’s would be desperate to go there… so it seems that management + ownership must be pretty poor, only way to explain it, right?
A first time head coach will be able to command respect from the biggest ego laden team in the league?
Need to have an experienced coach with Lakers, because Jeanie Buss / management doesn’t let a new inexperienced breathe with all the outside noise, especially if they lose. Experienced coach will give players defined roles, and have the capital to tell management leave me alone. Unfortunately with Lebron, AD, Westbrook need an experienced coach. Look what Jason Kidd is doing with Dallas…
The coach with the Celtics is doing a fantastic job commanding respect and checking all those boxes. First time coach is getting that part of the job done. Might be the only guy able to do that but it seems like he’s succeeding in that regard.
Yes on Darvin Ham. If this coming year is a failure, then trade Anthony Davis and restock, Westbrook contract is over, LeBron leaves in free agency, and you’ve got a guy with a year under his belt to move forward with the new Squad and new plan.
Lakers won a championship in 2020. With this FO and GM Bron.
Then they blew up with this FO and GM Bron.
Understand Lakers had luck on their side. With the CovidTitle. They took advantage and did it right. So followed GM Bron to the state the Lakers are in now. It’s that simple.
Moving Westbrook is going to be nearly impossible. Even if you do. You are not getting good value back. Considering that the window with Bron is almost closed. It’s safe to assume Lakers run is OVER.
Best thing they can do is Move Bron…….
Take control of your team. And get this team back on track. Hire the right coach. And build around AD. Westbrook contract comes off in a yr. You might get value at TD. With other teams trying to get out of contracts. Or just let him come off books. Bron trade is their best move IMO. Use him like he used YOU
The Lakers may be willing to take that leap of faith because Ham spent two years with the organization. His personality isn’t easily forgotten. Ham brings a lot of energy to a gym. He’s arguably the best fit for the locker room, with veterans like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and possibly Russell Westbrook in need of a coach they can relate to and respect. “He’s the guy LeBron wants,” a competing source said. It will be up to Ham to spell out his basketball vision, in general and in context to the Lakers’ roster makeup. He could be the hire if he can sell that side to the team’s front office. – via Eric Pincus @ Bleacher Report
OK …….. the coach Bron wants ????
Only thing Bron has to offer now. Is the chase for the scoring title. The West is much better now. Bron is on the decline. His D is not there. Father Time is Undefeated. Lakers need to get control of this franchise back. It starts now with the coach FO wants. Not GM Bron. Even if it is Darvin Ham
If the Lakers are out of contention prior to the trade deadline, or will limp into possible play in tournament, Lebron may ask out at trade deadline to contender even if he likes LA, his ego and need for additional rings will win out….he is still going to call LA home, but nothing is off the table…. Even if Cleveland, Miami, say that ship has sailed, you never know, thirst for rings make strange bed fellows…. Changes: Jimmy & Heat need help, keep some shooting, but Riley will make changes, go for it this summer, Bulls, Hawks, Portland, how Nets handle KYRIE, Philly with Harden, Lakers if they can, will they do something? The West is a beast next year… Denver , Clippers will get injured players back…. Draft will be interesting because of the depth pieces…
Why is Mark Jackson never considered?? Definitely unfortunate.
Burned too many bridges with the Warriors. He’s not easy to get along with. He did great things to bring the Warriors from awful to the playoffs but alienated much of the back office behind the scenes staff and even assistant coaches.
Another though Lesser concern is that he would need an offensive-minded assistant coach to help create modern NBA offensive schemes necessary in today’s NBA.
The show is over, it’s time we destroy & rebuild it…
Yes, time to rebuild….look at one month before trade deadline, then reevaluate… do you rebuild around AD, trade Lebron, release/ trade Westbrook if not gone already.. Because they are the LA LAKERS, players will always would want to play there… Tear it down selectively…. they don’t have many draft picks going forward….