Within the first week of Darvin Ham’s hiring, Rasheed Wallace’s name was mentioned as a potential assistance coach on the Lakers staff. However, it appears the longtime NBA veteran will not be joining the franchise after all.
Wallace was initially linked to the Lakers by both University of Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway — where Wallace had previously coached — as well as Shams Charania of The Athletic. And only a month later, Wallace is not considered a candidate to join the staff, again according to Charania.
After further conversations, former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace will no longer join new Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s staff, sources said. Wallace served as an assistant under Penny Hardaway at the University of Memphis last season.
Ham himself fielded a question about Wallace during his introductory press conference and was adamant Wallace was still being considered as a candidate to join the staff. Even while it seemed like something of a foregone conclusion initially, signs started to appear that it might not have been quite as done of a deal as it initially seemed.
This does raise some eyebrows and potential concerns considering what was reported when Ham was initially hired. One of the initial reports that served as a cause for optimism was that Ham had been given autonomy in picking his coaching staff.
Now, in hindsight, the report did actually say “a large amount of autonomy,” but that doesn’t feel like much leeway when trying to defend the Lakers here. When hiring Frank Vogel, the Lakers had similar issues of forcing their hand when it came to the coaching staff. That instance was about forcing someone — Jason Kidd, specifically — onto the staff rather than keeping someone off of it.
There could still be more to this story that we may or may not get more info on. But for a front office that does not have, nor does it deserve the benefit of the doubt, this is another misstep of which there have been many in recent years.