When Darvin Ham received such widespread support across the league upon news of his hiring by the Lakers, many of those reactions came from players he had spent his coaching playing career alongside. One notable exception to that, though, was Draymond Green.
Green’s connection with Ham is one that extends well past the NBA and to their roots in Michigan. Like Green, Ham is from Saginaw, a city of under 50,000 people located northwest of both Detroit and Flint. Despite its size, a number of NBA players have come from the city outside of Green and Ham, including Kenyon Martin and Jason Richardson.
Ham, though, was the one who paved the way in the modern era, due in no small part to his popularity in college for his backboard shattering dunks and the fact he won a title in the NBA. For someone like Green that graduated in 2008, four years after Ham won his title with the Pistons in 2004, Ham was seen as a role model of sorts.
Green also recently spoke to Dan Woike of the LA Times about Ham’s hiring as well, offering some more context into his thoughts about Ham being hired.
“Growing up, could see that — ‘that’s Darv, in the NBA’ — and you want that,” Green said. “That’s your dream, too. And to see him come back and be able to touch him, to go to his camps. It was like, ‘Yo, I could possibly do that one day.’”
In the same piece, Ham also talked about the impact Ham can have on the Lakers this upcoming season and his strengths as a coach.
“I think he’s going to bring a toughness, a blue-collar mentality just because that’s how he’s built. That’s how he’s raised. You have to be that way from Saginaw,” Green told The Times. “I think it’ll be a different toughness that they haven’t seen. And he’s going to command and require a different respect level that they haven’t really have had. ... And I think that will bode well for that team.”
Across the league, Ham has gained a strong reputation that comes from many different places. Fortunately, the Lakers will now be able to see firsthand all the strengths and bonds Ham creates with his team and those he comes into contact with around the league.