Lakers Hire Bucks Assistant Darvin Ham As Next Head Coach

The Los Angeles Lakers are hiring Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham as their next head coach. 

News of the hiring was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ham’s connection to the Lakeshow goes back to his tenure as an assistant coach for former Lakers head coach Mike Brown between 2011 to 2013.

The Lakers first requested to interview Ham on April 29.

Anticipations were high for Ham to land a head coaching role after a stellar run with the Bucks, which includes their 2021-22 NBA championship. Ham joined Mike Budenholzer’s coaching staff back in 2018.

Ham also played in the NBA between 1996 and 2008 for the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons.

Lakers legend Magic Johnson previously noted that the organization would be better off hiring a former player out of its existing pool of candidates. The Lakers were also vetting former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson and former Toronto Raptors coach Terry Stotts. 

“I think that, to me, they’re showing you, right now. Probably besides Erik Spoelstra, all the other three that’s in the final four are ex-players,” Johnson said, as relayed by HoopsWire’s Sam Amico. “So, I think that says a lot about these young ex-players who command respect right away, who have done it before. I’m not saying it has to be an ex-player, but I’m saying you have to look at what’s going on. Most of the guys who are in the playoffs.

“But the most important thing to me is accountability. They must hold everybody, one through 15, accountable. And we got away from accountability. Guys never talked about that this season. It was always somebody else’s fault. I hated that. Never, ‘Hey, I played bad. Hey, It’s on me.’ So whether it’s an ex-player or not, but the trend is ex-players. But if not, I want a coach that’s going to hold everybody accountable. And, so, that’s what I would like to see.”

Though tasked with a hefty assignment to lead a locker room full of veterans, including LeBron James in his first year as coach, Ham comes in with plenty of support behind him.

It’s only up from here for the Lakers after finishing the 2022 season with a 33-49 record and 11th in the Western Conference standings.

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