The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Darvin Ham as their next head coach and star LeBron James is hyped about it.
The Los Angeles Lakers drastically underperformed this past season, where they were expected to make a run to the NBA Finals. After finishing 11th in the Western Conference, the team moved on from Frank Vogel as their head coach. Coming in to replace him is Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham.
If Lakers fans were unsure how to feel about the hire, they will feel better knowing that LeBron James fully supports the move, saying that he is “so damn excited.”
Lakers: LeBron James ‘excited’ about Darvin Ham hire
The Lakers conducted a search that also included former head coach Phil Jackson to find the right candidate to replace Vogel. They narrowed it down to three choices — Ham, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and ex-Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. Eventually, it was Ham who got the job following his formal interview with the team on Thursday, per ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ham previously served as a Lakers assistant back in 2011 until joining Mike Budenholzer’s staff on the Atlanta Hawks in 2013. He then moved to the Bucks with Budenholzer in 2018. Just last year, the Bucks won their second NBA Championship in franchise history after they defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games.
Los Angeles tried to go all-in this past season following their elimination in the first round of last year’s playoffs by the Suns. Their biggest move was acquiring Russell Westbrook in a trade from the Washington Wizards. Westbrook’s struggles, paired with injuries to players like Anthony Davis and James, led to the team underperforming.
The Lakers are confident in Ham’s abilities to lead the team to success. But it will remain to be seen what moves the team makes this summer to help them return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2020.