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Darvin Ham fired by Los Angeles, what does it mean for Lakers?

Darvin Ham fired Los Angeles Lakers
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May 03, 2024

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May 03, 2024

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a.patton@tegna.com

The Lakers let Darvin Ham go after he failed to lead them past the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

After two seasons as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, which included an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, Darvin Ham was fired on Friday. The Lakers will open a job search to try to find someone who can lead a team with future Hall of Famers LeBron James and Anthony Davis back to championship contention after a season where they fell in five games to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

Locked On Lakers host Andy Kamenetzky is not surprised Los Angeles let Ham go after a frustrating series loss. However, he lamented how quickly Ham’s tenure ended in LA after the coach joined the franchise with so much promise just two years ago.

None of this is surprising,” Kamenezky said. “It has felt very much like this was the direction things have been heading increasingly throughout the season…When Darvin Ham got hired last year by the Lakers a lot of people, myself included, thought it was a terrific hire.”

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Ham went 90-74 during the regular season with Los Angeles, but just 9-12 in the postseason. Eight of those losses came at the hands of the Nuggets, who swept the Lakers last year in the Western Conference Finals en route to an NBA title. This year the Lakers won Game 4, but considering LA was up by double-digits in all five games of the series it remains a disappointing result.

James and Davis both played over 70 games during the regular season, their highest combined total since becoming teammates in 2018. That only resulted in a seven seed in the west, however, and the team needed to go 23-10 down the stretch to even get into the playoff picture.

James has had quite a few head coaches in his prolific NBA career, and over the next few weeks he will no doubt have a huge role in picking another one. The Lakers are likely unwilling to risk hiring someone who James doesn’t like – since he can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent.

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