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The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the hiring of Darvin Ham as their new head coach Friday, signing him to a multi-year contract.
The news comes a week after ESPN first reported the news, saying Ham and the Lakers had agreed to a four-year deal.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka announced the hiring, saying fans will appreciate Ham’s “no-nonsense” approach.
“When someone begins his NBA coaching career at the G League level and goes all the way through playing an integral role on the front bench of an NBA championship team, it really speaks to a certain strength of character.
“Our players and fans will immediately identify with Darvin’s no-nonsense and hard-working approach, which we feel will bring toughness and a competitive edge to all we do,” Pelinka said, according to the Lakers team website.
Following last week’s report by ESPN, Lakers star LeBron James gave his stamp of approval, congratulating Ham on social media.
“So damn EXCITED!!!!!!!!” James posted to Twitter Friday. “Congrats and welcome Coach DHam!!”
For the past four seasons, Ham was an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks under head coach Mike Budenholzer, winning the NBA championship in 2021.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said Ham will bring a certain level of toughness to the organization.
“I think he’s going to bring a toughness, a blue-collar mentality, just because that’s how he’s built. That’s how he’s raised. You have to be that way from Saginaw,” Green told the Los Angeles Times.
“I think it’ll be a different toughness that they haven’t seen. And he’s going to command and require a different respect level that they haven’t really had. … And I think that will bode well for that team.”
The Lakers are coming off of a disastrous season, finishing the year with a record of 33-49 and missing the playoffs. The signing of Russell Westbrook last offseason led many to believe the Lakers could compete for an NBA championship. But the Lakers inability to find chemistry, coupled with injuries to Anthony Davis and James, doomed their season.