Darvin Ham’s journey back to the Lakers last offseason as head coach was a long winding one that included many near misses. While the purple and gold benefitted from so many franchises passing on him, he ultimately was long overdue to get his shot to lead a team.
And he certainly hasn’t forgotten that.
At Summer League in Las Vegas, Ham appeared on Marc Stein and Chris Haynes live podcast and discussed a number of things. Among them was Stein pointing out the number of interviews Ham had before finally landing with the Lakers...and Ham delivering a very pointed and direct message to those franchises.
Stein: Since you bring that up, I don’t know if my count is exactly — you proved last year you should have gotten a head coaching job a long time ago — I counted it up once and if my count is right: Celtics, Hornets, Bulls, Pacers, Wolves, Magic, Kings, Wizards and Clippers...
Ham: And Hawks
Stein: And Hawks. Ten teams interviewed you and did not hire you as their head coach.
Ham: Yeah, they f----- up royally. You go back and look at those teams, how many coaches changes have we had amongst those teams.
One franchise’s loss in another one’s gain and the Lakers prospered in this scenario. While Ham had his faults and missteps along the way in his rookie season, he pulled all the right strings in the postseason and was a big reason why the Lakers got to the Western Conference Finals.
There’s also some benefit to the mentality Ham is carrying. Having an edge and a chip on your shoulder, especially when it’s the head coach, can give the team as a whole an edge.
Here’s to Ham continuing to prove people and franchises wrong. And for the Lakers to continue to reap the benefits of it.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.