The general consensus across the NBA was that Darvin Ham was long past due for his chance at a head coaching gig. Setting aside the fact that the same people in favor of the Lakers’ hiring of Ham are the same ones who passed on him themselves multiple times throughout the years, the uniform approval of his hiring is a nice positive for the franchise.
In a recent interview with Mark Medina of NBA.com, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss talked about the response she’s had to hiring Ham.
“I’m a big believer in Darvin Ham. When you’re at the Board of Governors meetings and governors say to you, ‘We interviewed your guy, you got a great coach.’ Or, ‘He worked for us, you got a great guy.’ His reputation around the league brings me a lot of pride to hear other people say how much they admire him. We got a really good coach.”
Darvin’s positive reputation comes from years of experience where he’s established himself as a powerful voice, and a coach that has won over multiple players throughout his stops across the league. He’ll bring a different approach to the Lakers than the one Frank Vogel did, for better and for worse.
Buss was asked about the difference between Ham and Vogel as well as her role in the hiring process.
What do you expect that Darvin and his staff can do that you and the basketball operations staff believe Frank Vogel and his staff couldn’t do last season?
Darvin is a very impressive person and has powerful leadership. He was part of the Lakers’ organization a few years ago. I have always admired his work ethic as a player and as a coach. That’s what he is going to bring to this team.
What was your involvement with the coaching search?
Rob can answer in terms of process. But it is up to him to go through the candidates. As they get closer to making the decision, they want to make sure we’re all on the same page. But the decision was Rob’s, and I am in 100% support of that decision.
It is interesting that Jeanie noted that it was general manager Rob Pelinka’s decision to make Ham the franchise’s next head coach. While her goal was likely to make it clear she had no influence in the matter, it also further signifies that Pelinka is now the team’s lone decision-maker. He made that distinction himself during exit interviews, and has effectively made himself responsible if things go awry as a result.
If it all doesn’t work out, Pelinka’s job will be on the line. But if the overall positive reception Ham’s hiring has drawn across the league is any indication of where the Lakers are headed, then maybe they won’t ever have to cross that bridge.