The Los Angeles Lakers have found their new head coach. Finalists for the vacancy were known to be Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State assistant Kenny Atkins, and former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts.

Well, the Lakers’ choice is Ham, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday night. It’s a four-year deal for Ham, who interviewed for the job on Thursday.

According to Wojnarowski, the Lakers were drawn to Ham because of his “championship pedigree, his commanding presence, history of coaching stars and toughness.”

Wojnarowski adds that Ham’s staff is “expected to include head coaching experience.”

Ham, 48, has been a key assistant coach for Mike Budenholzer and the Bucks since 2018, including their game 2020-21 NBA championship season. He actually began his NBA assistant coaching career with the Lakers from 2011-13 before becoming an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks under Budenholzer’s staff from 2013-18.

He also had an eight-year playing career in the NBA, which featured a championship with the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons.

While Ham was briefly a head coach for the G League’s New Mexico (2010-11), he’s never been a head coach in the NBA, so makes all the sense in the world that he’d want to add former head coaches to his staff. That’s particularly important in this Lakers situation, featuring big-name veterans such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook (at least for now).

The Lakers were a monumental disappointment in the 2021-22 NBA season, missing the playoffs at 33-49 after being viewed as a title contender entering the season. James and Davis missed many games due to injuries, and the Westbrook experiment was a disaster.

Frank Vogel was fired as Lakers head coach on April 11, despite winning a title in the 2019-20 season.

Here’s a sampling of the reaction to the Lakers’ decision to hire Ham:

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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