Report: Lakers Players ‘Were Taken Aback’ When Darvin Ham Started Taurean Prince Over Rui Hachimura

According to NBA insider Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, several Los Angeles Lakers players “were taken aback” when Darvin Ham started Taurean Prince over Rui Hachimura to begin the season. 

NBA, Lakers, Darvin Ham, Rui Hachimura, Taurean Prince
Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Ham, who was fired after two seasons, lost the Lakers locker room in December when he benched D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves and started LeBron James, Prince, Jarred VanderbiltCam Reddish and Anthony Davis on December 23 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

“According to sources close to the situation, members of last year’s core felt like victims of a bait and switch,” Irwin wrote. “All offseason, they were sold on how they would build on continuity. Instead, everyone but James and Davis was benched at different points of the season and that group only got a real look until well after the season’s halfway point.

“When Prince was chosen to start at the beginning of the season over Hachimura, several players were taken aback. No one held it against Prince, to be clear, but many in the locker room and throughout the organization were left wondering why plans that had been in place for months were now thrown out the window right at the start of the season.”

In Ham’s two seasons, the Lakers went 90-74. LAL was swept by the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 Western Conference Finals and lost to Denver in the first round of the 2024 playoffs.

“When Prince, Reaves and Russell struggled as a group and Reaves was sent to the bench, things took an even darker turn, sources say, as team officials couldn’t help but wonder why Ham had so little patience with Reaves, but guys like Prince and Reddish were given endless opportunity to try to figure things out,” Irwin wrote. 

In their coaching search, the Lakers have been linked to Tyronn Lue, JJ Redick, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Budenholzer and Charles Lee. 

LeBron will be playing for his fourth coach since joining the Lakers in 2018. The NBA legend is expected to remain with the Lakers despite having a player option for next season. 

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply