LakersfiredCoach Darvin Ham After Disappointing Playoff Exit

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired head coach Darvin Ham after two seasons, citing a disappointing playoff performance and reported player unrest. Ham led the team to a 90-74 regular-season record, but they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

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Salman Khan
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LakersfiredCoach Darvin Ham After Disappointing Playoff Exit

LakersfiredCoach Darvin Ham After Disappointing Playoff Exit

The Los Angeles Lakers have fire, head, reports coach Darvin Ham after two seasons, citing a disappointing playoff performance and reported player unrest. Ham led the Lakers to a 90-74 regular-season record, but the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Denver Nuggets in five games.

The Lakers'fire, firstplayoff exit was marked by a pattern of blowing large leads, failing to protect double-digit advantages in all four of their losses in the series, including squandering a 20-point second-half lead in Game 2. This disappointing postseason showing, combined with reports of player frustration and a disconnect between Ham and the locker room, ultimately sealed the coach's fate.

In a statement, Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka thanked Ham for his efforts, acknowledging the "many accomplishments achieved over the past two seasons, including last year's remarkable run to the Western Conference Finals." However, Pelinka added, "While this was a difficult decision to make, it is the best course of action following a full review of the season. This organization will remain unwavering in its commitment to deliver championship-caliber basketball to Lakers fans around the world."

Ham's fire, loss raises concerns about the future of LeBron James, who continues to perform at an elite level despite being 39 years old. James has the option to become a free agent this summer, and there were reportedly visible signs of frustration from the superstar during the playoffs. After the Lakers blew a 20-point lead in Game 2, Anthony Davis seemingly questioned Ham's coaching, saying, "We have stretches where we don't know what we're doing on both ends of the floor."

Ham, a former NBA player and longtime assistant coach, was hired by the Lakers in 2022 to replace Frank Vogel. In his debut season, Ham successfully convinced Russell Westbrook to accept a bench role, and the Lakers reached the Western Conference Finals. However, the 2023-2024 season saw the emergence of strategic concerns from players, with one unnamed Laker stating, "We need to be coached, too."

With Ham's fire, sources, say departure, the Lakers plan to rebuild their roster around James and star center Anthony Davis. This could potentially put the pieces in place for the team to maximize the remaining time in which James and Davis are still performing at an elite level. The Lakers will now begin their search for a new head coach, with candidates such as Ty Lue, Kenny Atkinson, and Mike Budenholzer being mentioned as potential replacements for Ham.

The Lakers' decision to part ways with Ham after just two seasons underscores the immense pressure and expectations surrounding the storied franchise. As the organization looks to capitalize on the final years of James' illustrious career and return to championship contention, the nextfired, headcoach will face the daunting task of uniting the locker room, implementing effective strategies, and delivering results on the court.

Key Takeaways

  • Lakers fire head coach Darvin Ham after 2 seasons.
  • Ham's departure follows disappointing playoff performance and player unrest.
  • Lakers plan to rebuild roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
  • Next coach will face pressure to unite locker room and deliver results.
  • Ty Lue, Kenny Atkinson, and Mike Budenholzer mentioned as potential replacements.