Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham has consented to a four-year deal to become the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, sources told on Friday.
Ham isolated himself in the process in recent days, interviewing with Lakers authorities Thursday and rousing a deal Friday evening, sources said. The Lakers were sold on Ham’s height and durability, his history of coaching star and title family as a colleague and player, sources said. Ham’s history with the Lakers franchise for two seasons – – 2011-2013 – – had an impact in his recruiting, as well.
Ham will be accused of returning the Lakers to the postseason after a disastrous 33-49 season that cost Frank Vogel his job. One of Ham’s most significant directives: figuring out how to integrate future Hall of Fame watch Russell Westbrook into the franchise’s framework with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It was a significant subject of each and every Lakers coaching interview simultaneously, sources said.
“So damn EXCITED!!!!!!!! Congrats and welcome Coach DHam!!” James tweeted Friday night in response to the hiring.
Ham has been a part of one of the league’s most successful coaching trees under Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer – – including Memphis’ Taylor Jenkins, Utah’s Quin Snyder and Golden State Warriors right hand Kenny Atkinson. Ham enjoyed nine seasons with Budenholzer in Atlanta and Milwaukee, including coming out on top for the 2021 NBA championship together.
“I’m so happy for him,” Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo told ESPN, referring to Ham. “He’s the right fit for them. He keeps it real with you. No BS at all. It’s about damn time. He deserves it more than anyone.”
Ham played eight seasons in the NBA, winning a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
The Lakers directed interviews with two of the three finalists this week – – Ham and Terry Stotts, sources said. After the Ham interview, the franchise leaders realized they had their coach.