During the team’s 2019 coaching search, LeBron James and his representatives of Klutch Sports Group had let the Los Angeles Lakers know that they approved of Darvin Ham as a candidate to be the team’s next head coach.
Fast forward three years, and the now-former Milwaukee Bucks assistant has been hired, and it’s fair to say that — as was reported during the search — James is still very much a fan of his, one coach and three seasons later:
So damn EXCITED!!!!!!!! Congrats and welcome Coach DHam!! #LakeShow— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 28, 2022
And LeBron isn’t the only Laker legend that is seemingly thrilled to welcome Ham into the fold. And no, I’m not referring to myself coming out of semi-retirement to write this blog.
Magic Johnson also praised the move, and you may recognize the link he used to share his approval:
I’m excited that the Lakers just hired Darvin Ham as the coach. Congratulations!!https://t.co/oPQ4QiQ1ZX— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 28, 2022
A few other Lakers figures weighed in on the news as well:
Phil Handy IG story after the Lakers hired Darvin Ham pic.twitter.com/WQlMZuRQza— LakeShowHoopsᴾᴴ (@LakeShowHoopsPH) May 28, 2022
Dwight Howard coming back pic.twitter.com/JoBZdYJzBC— Lakers 2022-2023 redemption season (@WorldwideLakers) May 28, 2022
But in all seriousness, Ham’s hiring getting LeBron’s sign-off here is obviously, functionally, a much bigger deal (With all due respect, Magic, if you’re reading this. I’m only saying that because he’s still playing!).
Because, not that this ended up mattering all that much given that the Lakers won a title, but LeBron was hardly this publicly effusive about Vogel’s hiring, and him being fully bought into Ham on day one is certainly good news. And as for Magic’s endorsement, it is another example of how well-regarded Ham seems to be in league circles.
So while only time will tell how his tenure ultimately plays out, at the very least, it’s hard to say that Ham’s time in Los Angeles is not off to as good of a start as humanly possible. Of the available options, he would have been my pick, and as the tweets above make clear, much more important Laker power brokers obviously agree.