Earlier this week, Darvin Ham drew plenty of attention to the Lakers for, effectively, saying the quiet part loud. In discussing all the shortcomings of the roster and the team this season, Ham correctly pointed out that the team’s salary cap situation and the owner’s unwillingness to remain in the repeater tax was impacting what team they could put together.
It was a comment that, predictably, made some waves. Everyone knew that the Lakers weren’t making moves because of financial restrictions but the head coach outright saying it isn’t something seen often.
Perhaps not surprisingly, and having certainly seen or read the reaction to his comments, Ham started walking things back and talked about how helpful vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss have been.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham said Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka have been an "open book" and "are making sure I have everything I need". Ham: "It's been great. I have no complaints whatsoever."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 10, 2022
Look, both things are probably true here. The Lakers are very clearly hampered by a tax bill that is large and an owner that isn’t interested in increasing it further, especially for a team that looks worse and worse by the game.
But Ham joined the franchise and the team aware of most of these limitations. He spoke all summer about having Russ on the team and if that was the case, he knew that the rest of the roster would be full of veteran’s minimum guys. And as expected, those types of players have flaws that are holding the team back, hence them being available for the minimum.
And the Lakers probably have been accommodating to Ham in his first season. I wouldn’t expect him to say anything else publicly barely a month into the schedule.
Ultimately, this feels like one of those things filed under a first-year head coach saying maybe a bit too much about the situation he’s in and is probably something he wouldn’t do in the future. It may not make any of it less true but it will be less spoken about publicly.