The Lakers’ near two-month search for their next head coach has reached a conclusion.
Per multiple reports, Los Angeles is hiring Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to become the 28th head coach in the history of the franchise. It’s a four-year contract for the first-time head coach, who has been an assistant in the NBA since 2011.
This will be Ham’s second stint in Los Angeles, as he served as an assistant from 2011-13. He then spent 2013-18 with the Hawks and 2018-22 with the Bucks, winning a NBA Finals championship last season.
Ham, 48, played in eight seasons in the NBA (1996-2005) and was a member of the Pistons’ championship team in the 2003-04 season. He suited up in 417 games, averaging 2,7 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 0.5 APG.
He’s tasked with bringing good fortune back to the storied franchise, which missed the playoffs entirely this season. The Lakers (33-49) finished 11th in the Western Conference standings, just two seasons removed from winning the NBA Finals championship.
Frank Vogel was fired as head coach on April 11 after the disappointing season. Los Angeles dealt with multiple injuries this season, most notably to forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson had been vocal about the Lakers needing to hire a former player as their next head coach.
“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. “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.”
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