Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham has accepted an offer to be the next Los Angeles Lakers head coach.
The deal has not been publicly announced, but is now widely publicized in the United States.
Ham becomes the 28th coach in Lakers history and takes on arguably the league’s highest position for his first head coaching role.
He’s been Mike Budenholzer’s assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks since 2018, and he’s been a big part of their 2021 NBA title run.
Ham will be the 15th most black coach currently in the NBA. Including Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat, who is Asian-American, who makes 16 coaches of black or minority ethnicity, who is in the majority for the first time.
The 48-year-old will be the successor to Frank Vogel, who was fired a day after the Lakers ended one of the most disappointing seasons in NBA history by going 33-49 and missing the playoffs. .
The Lakers fell short despite another impressive season from LeBron James, who welcomed his new head coach on social media before the move was even publicly announced.
“So EXCITED!!!!!!!!” James tweeted. “Congratulations and welcome Coach DHam!!”
It is understood, as sky sports reported earlier this week that Ham was James’ preferred choice as head coach.
The Lakers had an official interview with the Bucks assistant on Thursday and offered him the job on Friday, according to ESPNis Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ham would have made a strong impression on the Lakers in several areas, including his championship pedigree, commanding presence, star coaching history, and tenacity. Ham will begin to assemble a staff which should include head coaching experience.
Previously, Ham was an assistant player development coach with Kobe Bryant’s Lakers from 2011 to 2013 on the staff of head coaches Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni. Ham then spent five years on the Atlanta Hawks team under Budenholzer, developing a reputation as an effective communicator with versatile tactical knowledge.
Budenholzer’s staff with the Hawks also included Taylor Jenkins, Quin Snyder and Kenny Atkinson, all of whom went on to become NBA head coaches.
Vogel led the Lakers to the 17th franchise title exactly 18 months before he was fired. He failed to secure a winning season on a veteran roster led by James, oft-injured Anthony Davis and newcomer Russell Westbrook, who had a dismal first season with his hometown side. Westbrook is under contract for another season with the Lakers.
Ham played eight seasons in the NBA and won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 before becoming a coach in 2008. The Michigan native played collegiately at Texas Tech.
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