Lakers let go of head coach Darvin Ham

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
Darvin Ham coached the Lakers for two seasons to a 90-74 record and a Western Conference Finals berth in 2023.

LOS ANGELES — Darvin Ham was ousted as Los Angeles Lakers head coach.

The Lakers have confirmed the news.

While Ham helped turn the team around after the trade deadline in 2023, which led to a surprising Western Conference Finals berth, this year was filled with a lot more noise that ended in a disappointing first round elimination against the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

Ham’s experimenting in rotations that included benching Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell didn’t sit well with the team. The Lakers did win the In-season Tournament but the team went on a slump thereafter as they went on to lose 10 of their next 13 games. While the team would recover to go 23-10 in their last 33 games, their slide in December cost them a better record that could’ve had them bypassing the play-in altogether and likely avoiding Denver in the first round.

After a Game 2 loss that saw them blow a 20-point lead, Anthony Davis said, “We have stretches where we just don’t know what we’re doing on both ends of the floor.” Ham would answer afterwards that, “I’ll agree to disagree on that one.” The lack of accountability did not help matters.

So after two years as the head man, Darvin Ham is out. The Lakers have a lot of things they need to take care of. The future of LeBron James seems uncertain and there are rumors fueling that the team might want to take on a third star again.

Ham was hired as the head coach by the Lakers in 2022 as he succeeded Frank Vogel, who won a championship with the team in the Disney bubble in 2020. He led the team to a 90-74 record (47-35 this season), a West Finals appearance in 2023, and an in-season tournament win last December. Ham started his coaching career in 2008 after a 12-year playing career that included stops with six NBA teams. He won a championship as an assistant coach with Milwaukee in 2021.