The Lakers have hired Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham to be their next head coach, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ham, 48, has been a much-cited name as a first-time head coaching candidate in the last few years, particularly after winning a title with Milwaukee under head coach Mike Budenholzer in 2021. A Michigan native who played eight journeyman NBA seasons (winning a ring with the Detroit Pistons in 2004), Ham previously served as a Lakers assistant under Mike Brown from 2011-13.
One of the few coaching qualities that General Manager Rob Pelinka specifically cited after dismissing Vogel earlier this month was a strong locker room presence. As a former player and one of the respected voices in Milwaukee’s locker room, Ham could fit that particular bill.
“We want a strong voice that’s able to inspire the players to play at the highest level of competition every night,” Pelinka said. “And I think that’s going to be one of the resounding qualities that we look for in terms of holding everybody from the top player on our team to the 15th man to a degree of accountability.”
The Lakers have some incumbent challenges in getting the head coach of their dreams: Several of Vogel’s assistants remain under contract and could be in the mix to be on next season’s staff; there is uncertainty clouding the future of Russell Westbrook, the franchise’s highest-paid player; Vogel’s firing – in which he…