Source: Lakers Players ‘Are Done’ With Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs and all signs point toward head coach Darvin Ham getting fired. 

Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

A source told Hoops Wire that Lakers players “are done” with Ham. 

“Darvin is likely getting fired,” the source said. “Look, he’s a nice guy. Players like him as a person. He’s easy to talk to. He’s a former player and won a championship. Players respect him as a person. But that’s the issue. They respect him as a person, not as a coach. His schemes, rotations and inability to take accountability for his mistakes rubbed guys the wrong way all year. 

“They are done with Darvin. They wanted Phil (Handy) to replace Darvin earlier in the season. Darvin is done in LA and he knows it.”

LeBron James can become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his 2024-25 player option with the Lakers worth $51.4 million. LeBron, Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura — LA’s starting lineup — never had a good relationship with Ham this season, the source told Hoops Wire. 

The Lakers went 47-35 in the regular season. They were sixth in the NBA in points per game, 23rd in points per game allowed and 19th in net rating. 

Los Angeles beat the New Orleans Pelicans in the 7-8 play-in game. The Nuggets eliminated the Lakers from the playoffs for the second year in a row. 

“It’s been a hell of a two years sitting in this seat, I’ll tell you that,” Ham said after Monday’s Game 5 defeat. “It’s been a hell of a two years.”

The Lakers are expected to fire Ham in the coming days, the source told Hoops Wire. It will be fascinating to see who Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka hire next. 

The leading scorer in NBA history, LeBron joined the Lakers in the summer of 2018. LA missed the playoffs in Year 1, won the title in Year 2, lost in the first round of the playoffs in Year 3, missed the playoffs in Year 4, lost in the conference finals in Year 5 and lost in the first round of the postseason in Year 6. 

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