Lakers Fire Darvin Ham

1:17pm: Ham has officially been dismissed, the Lakers confirmed in a press release (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group).

1:09pm: The Lakers are firing head coach Darvin Ham, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

According to Wojnarowski, general manager Rob Pelinka recently broke the news to Ham over the phone.

Sources tell Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic that L.A. will soon begin an “extensive search” for a new head coach, with former Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, and former NBA player and current ESPN analyst J.J. Redick among the candidates.

Tyronn Lue is another name to watch, per Charania and Buha, though he is currently the Clippers‘ head coach. Lue has one year left on his contract, according to The Athletic.

Multiple reporters, including Marc Stein and ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, recently cited Redick as a candidate if Ham were to be fired. Redick co-hosts a podcast with Lakers superstar LeBron James. He’s also said to be a “serious candidate” for Charlotte’s head coaching position.

An eight-year NBA veteran as a player, Ham was a longtime assistant before getting his first head coaching job with the Lakers a couple years ago. He compiled a 90-74 regular season record (.549 win%) and a 9-12 playoff record (.429) in his two seasons at the helm. The team also won a play-in game in each of the past two seasons to advance as the No. 7 seed.

That postseason record is a little misleading, since L.A. made the Western Conference Finals last year before being swept by the Nuggets, who went on to win the championship. The Lakers lost to the Nuggets again in ’23/24, dropping their first-round series in five games.

It’s been a hell of a two years … I’ll tell you that,” Ham said Monday after L.A. was eliminated, per McMenamin. “Sitting in this seat, it’s been a hell of a two years. A lot of good things that got done, but ultimately, you want to win that ultimate prize.”

Wojnarowski first reported that Ham would be on the hot seat if the Lakers were quickly dispatched by the Nuggets, with multiple subsequent reports indicating that the 50-year-old’s job was in “serious peril.” On Thursday, Buha stated on The Athletic’s NBA Show podcast that Ham would likely be fired by the end of the week and perhaps sooner (hat tip to RealGM).

Ham had two years remaining on his contract, which reportedly paid him $5MM annually. He has “a lot of supporters throughout the NBA,” tweets Steve Bulpett of

A two-time Coach of the Year with Atlanta and Milwaukee, Budenholzer won a championship with the Bucks in 2021. He was dismissed last summer following a first-round playoff exit.

Atkinson is another former head coach, having previously worked for Brooklyn. He backed out of Charlotte’s coaching vacancy a couple years ago after being offered the job.

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