The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly finally hired their next head coach in Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, according to multiple reports. Ham was the first candidate the Lakers reportedly reached out to at the beginning of their interview process, something that ultimately proved to be a foretelling sign.
The Lakers have hired Darvin Ham as coach, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 28, 2022
Four-year deal for Ham, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 28, 2022
Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers are hiring Bucks assistant Darvin Ham on a four-year contract.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 28, 2022
Even early on, Ham had established himself as one of the favorites for the job. This offseason wasn’t the first time Ham was linked to the job and it helped that last time back in 2018, LeBron James and Klutch Sports had signed off on his hiring.
Ham was one of three finalists that reportedly moved into the final round of the interview process and was quickly considered one of the favorites. Ham maintained as the pick of LeBron and made a strong impression during his initial interview process. Eventually, all that culminated in a strong final interview with owner Jeanie Buss in Los Angeles. And she’s not the only on in L.A. who is a fan of Ham.
Now, Ham is making his return to the Lakers, having served as a player development coach with the franchise 2011-13 under Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni. In the years that followed, Ham linked up with Mike Budenholzer and served as an assistant with the Hawks and Bucks. from 2013 through present day.
While the Lakers are taking a bit of a risk by hiring a first-year head coach with a roster that will be built to win now, there are plenty of examples of that working. Ime Udoka led the Celtics deep, deep into the playoffs as a first-year coach and Willie Green had a bit more mild success in New Orleans, though he still made the playoffs this year. The Lakers are banking on that being a trend of sorts and hoping Ham can return them to prominence.
Ham becomes just the second first-time the Lakers have hired in the last 28 years, dating back to Del Harris in 1994. Memorably, the only name on that list is Luke Walton. For his sake and the Lakers, let’s hope Ham’s coaching career has a bit more success.
This developing story will be updated.