The timing of Wednesday’s report of the growing disconnect between Darvin Ham and the Lakers locker room and the lack of media availability for the head coach meant a nearly 48-hour window in which the rumors and reports swirled around him and the franchise.
And, naturally, that offered a lot of time for Ham to think about how to address those rumors when he would be inevitably asked. But if you guessed he would have a normal response to those reports, you could not have been more wrong.
Prior to Friday’s game against the Grizzlies, Ham was asked if he was angered by the reports surrounding the team. He took that opportunity to compare anonymous sources to the Witness Protection Program.
Yes, really. Buckle up, cause this is a ride of a quote.
“Nah, man. It comes with the territory,” Ham said. “I’m solid. My governor, Jeanie Buss, the boss lady, our president, Robert Pelinka, we’re all aligned. As long as they’re not saying it, I guess I’m good, which I know how they feel about me and the situation we’re currently in. We’re all on the same page. My two captains, our communication has been at a high level.
“The one thing that’s crazy is that, it reminds me when I used to watch 60 Minutes with my father in the ‘80s and one particular show, they were talking about La Cosa Nostra and the mafia and guys are starting to go to trial. The star witness shows up with a black potato sack over his head and shades due to fear. Name really can’t be released. This seems the standard of reporting now for NBA, people on the internet and whatever. Not all reporters. I don’t want to disrespect anybody in the room,” he continued. “But when you say the source is anonymous by choice and they don’t want to put their name on something but they want to give you the information and then you take that information and now everybody gets a chance to dissect it and spread it all out in their own way, it’s kind of disingenuous and I wish we get to a place where people are firm enough to stand on what they’re saying and then maybe we can have real dialogue and get to it.
“I don’t mind people critiquing the job I’m doing. All I’m going to do is keep my head down and continue to do my job until I can’t do it anymore. Just be solid with what you’re putting out there and please don’t intertwine it with personal attacks either. So, that’s what it is. That’s what I signed up for when I decided to become a coach. Been around some great guys who handled it well and some coaches that haven’t handled it so well. Me? I’m solid. I’ve been through a ton of ‘ish’ in my life and this is a walk in the park. Trust me.”
There’s no chance anyone expected that answer for this report. Certainly, coaches not liking anonymous reports is not new. Especially when it’s critical of their job.
The simple solution for that is don’t get yourself in a position where anonymous sources can be critical of you. Or to worry less about those sources and more about winning games. Take your choice on that one.
The best part about the quote is the end in which Darvin, after that wild comparison and story, talks about how he’s handling the rumors well unlike other coaches who have not.
Gotta say, Darvin, I’m not sure I can side with you on that one.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.