The Los Angeles Lakers on Friday announced the hiring of Darvin Ham as their new head coach, with general manager Rob Pelinka praising the Milwaukee Bucks assistant’s “no-nonsense and hard-working approach.”
The Lakers said Ham had signed a multiyear deal to be their 28th head coach in franchise history but did not disclose further contract details. Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski last week that Ham had agreed to a four-year contract.
Ham, 48, has served as an NBA assistant coach for the past 11 seasons, including two years with the Lakers (2011-13). He also spent nine seasons working under Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta and Milwaukee, including winning the 2021 NBA championship together.
That Lakers experience played a role in Ham’s hiring, Wojnarowski reported last week. The team was also sold on Ham’s stature and toughness, his history of coaching star players and his championship pedigree as an assistant and player, sources said, aspects Pelinka hit on in the team’s announcement.
“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 in a statement. “When you add that to Darvin’s sophisticated grasp of in-game strategy and deep knowledge of the game of basketball, we have the ideal coach for this next chapter in Lakers history. We could not be more honored and proud to name Darvin Ham as our new head coach.”
An introductory news conference has been scheduled for Monday.
Ham will be tasked with turning around a Lakers team that went 33-49 this season and missed the playoffs, leading to Frank Vogel’s firing. Sources told Wojnarowski that Ham will need to find a way to incorporate Russell Westbrook into the franchise’s framework with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That was a significant subject of every Lakers coaching interview, sources said.
The Lakers also interviewed Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts and former Warriors coach and current ESPN broadcaster Mark Jackson, sources told ESPN.