Darvin Ham offers sharp response to Mike Malone being referred to as ‘Lakers’ daddy’

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is taking exception to his counterpart on the Denver Nuggets, Mike Malone, being referred to as the Lakers’ “daddy.”

Ham appeared on a podcast co-hosted by Chris Haynes and Marc Stein and dismissed the perception that the Lakers can’t beat Malone’s Nuggets.

“Oh, wow. You’re gonna bring up Money Mike, man?” said Ham. “The Lakers’ daddy? That’s what they call him now? The Lakers’ daddy?

“God bless his soul. This s— ain’t over. God bless his soul.”

The genesis for the Malone reference came about during the Nuggets’ NBA championship celebration last month. In the midst of celebratory remarks, Nuggets broadcaster Vic Lombardi uttered the words that struck a nerve with Ham.

Lombardi’s comments obviously enthused the Nuggets fans in attendance, even if they lack credibility when looking at Malone’s head-coaching career.

Malone became the Nuggets’ head coach prior to the start of the 2015-16 season. In the 2020 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers won the best-of-seven clash in five games.

During the 2022-23 regular season, the two teams split their four meetings, with the home team winning in each instance.

When the Lakers and Nuggets then faced off in the postseason, the Nuggets swept the Lakers in four games. However, a closer look shows that three of the Lakers’ four defeats were by six points or less.

Those tight victories clearly indicate that the Nuggets and Malone did not coast into the 2022 NBA Finals, where they subsequently defeated the Miami Heat in five games.

Since the Lakers were eliminated last month, the team has taken steps to try to improve its roster. These efforts include signing free agent guard Gabe Vincent and re-signing two key members of the Lakers’ playoff drive, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.

The Nuggets clearly remain a strong team and figure to make another spirited bid to win another title during the upcoming season. However, as the Lakers discovered after the franchise’s last title in 2020, key injuries can help diminish or destroy the hopes of another championship.

Given Ham’s irritation over the Malone reference, he very well might use the jab to motivate his players in their contests against the Nuggets this coming season. Players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis don’t necessarily need such motivation, but aren’t averse to using it from time to time.

For now, Malone may be more inclined to tell the Nuggets broadcasters and team to focus on the road ahead and avoid any ill-advised comments.

Share This Article
Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.