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Lakers Fire Darvin Ham, Rest of Coaching Staff

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to the referee's call during the second half against Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena on October 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired Darvin Ham days after the team’s first-round exit. Along with Ham, the franchise cleaned house, dismissing the rest of the coaching staff, including player development coach Phil Handy.

Although he had a decent record, Ham caught the ire of Lakers fans all season long because of his inconsistencies. He benched D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves at some point while playing Cam Reddish and Taurean Prince heavy minutes. 

After losing Game 2 after a 20-point lead, Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis said there were stretches when the team did not know what to do. The NBA circle took it as a shot at Ham’s coaching ineptitude especially in close games. 

Responding to Davis, Ham thought it was the frustration speaking and said that he would have to agree to disagree with his starting center. Nevertheless, the Lakers’ fall to the Denver Nuggets for the second straight playoffs was probably the final straw for the former NBA veteran.

That said, there were already signs in the middle of the season. Shams Charania of Fanduel TV’s Run It Back reported that the former Milwaukee Bucks assistant had already lost the locker room because of his questionable lineup decisions. The Lakers lost eight of 11 games then, spiraling down to the 10th seed in early January 2023.

However, not everyone is a fan of the coach’s firing. Charles Barkley thought the general managers deserved more blame for building mediocre rosters. Others thought Ham was simply a scapegoat for the Lakers’ failures.

Who’s Next?

Meanwhile, potential coaching replacements for the Lake Show have been named. The rumor mill mentioned Tyronn Lue, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Budenholzer, and JJ Redick. Rajon Rondo is a long shot, but the Lakers are reportedly casting a wide net as they should.

Redick interviewed for the Charlotte Hornets coaching vacancy last week. He and James are close, but his inexperience could be damning in close games.