Bucks coaching staff: Why assistant Darvin Ham is among possible candidates for Lakers job

As the Los Angeles Lakers continue their search for coaches after firing Frank Vogel, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham has emerged as a candidate.

According to Athletic’s Shams Charaniathe Lakers requested permission to interview Ham for their open head coaching position.

Ham has been an assistant in the league for over a decade and has been widely tipped to become a head coach, previously interviewing for top Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers roles and was on the Sacramento Kings’ radar.

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So who is Darvin Ham?

Background

Ham was born on July 12, 1973 in Saginaw Michigan. He attended Saginaw High School in Saginaw, Michigan.

University career

Ham attended Texas Tech University from 1993 to 1996. In college, he averaged 8.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game for three seasons.

In his third season, he helped the Red Raiders reach their first-ever Sweet Sixteen, losing to Allen Iverson and the Georgetown Hoyas.

Ham rose to fame in college for breaking the backboard in a handed-out dunk against the UNC Tar Heels.

Professional career

Ham declared for the 1996 NBA draft, going undrafted and signing with the Denver Nuggets before the 1996-97 NBA season.

He played eight seasons in the NBA, with his most notable stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons, where he was part of the 2004 championship-winning team.

Ham also spent a season (199-00) playing professionally in Spain with CB Granada.

Coaching career

The 49-year-old has been an assistant coach for over a decade and spent two seasons with the Lakers from 2011 to 2013.

After finishing his D-League playing career with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, he became a coach in 2008 for two seasons.

In 2011, Ham started as an assistant coach for the Lakers in a player development role, working alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, before joining the Atlanta Hawks coaching staff in 2013.

Ham spent five seasons at Atlanta, then in 2018 he followed head coach Mike Budenholzer to the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant and was on the bench for their 2021 championship win.

Is Ham the right candidate for the Lakers?

The Lakers will cast a wide net in their search for a new head coach following the departure of Frank Vogel, who went 127-98 in his three seasons in Los Angeles, which included winning the 2020 championship.

After going 33-49 in 2021-22 and missing the playoffs entirely, the Lakers have been linked to a host of big names including Quin Snyder of Utah, Doc Rivers of Philadelphia, Nick Nurse of Toronto , Golden State assistant Mike Brown and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson. .

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Several former assistants have made an impression as head coaches this season with Boston’s Ime Udoka, Dallas’ Jason Kidd, Minnesota’s Chris Finch and New Orleans’ Willie Green all leading their teams to the playoffs in 2021-22. .

Ham is also a favorite among the players, with former Laker Kyle Kuzma giving the Bucks assistant his stamp of approval.

As long as the Lakers have LeBron James, they will have championship aspirations and with Ham’s experience as a player and coach, he fits the bill for their coaching makeover.

Convincing Nick Nurse to leave Toronto or Doc Rivers out of Philadelphia seems unlikely, making Ham’s case that much stronger to get his chance as head coach in Los Angeles.

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