LeBron James comes to Darvin Ham’s defense in light of viral moment from Lakers-Blazers game

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James came to the defense of head coach Darvin Ham on social media.

James commented on a viral clip of him coming out of last night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

One social media user claimed that James “subbed himself out,” but the four-time champion confirmed that was not the case. He instead revealed that Ham told him to foul and then call a timeout so he could sub James out of the game.

It’s nice to see James defending his head coach, especially since Ham has been criticized this season. Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue even recently said it’s “unfair” how much blame that Ham is receiving this season.

The Lakers absolutely dominated Portland on Sunday night, eventually winning the game by 24 points.

James had a strong showing for Los Angeles, scoring 28 points on 8-of-16 shooting (3-for-8 from 3-point range, 9-for-10 from the free-throw line) while adding five rebounds and five assists.

The win moved the Lakers to 22-22 on the season, and the team is an impressive 16-8 at home. Los Angeles now holds the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, and it appears to be turning things around a bit, winning three of its last four games.

Los Angeles is looking to make a run to get into the top six in the Western Conference so it can avoid the play-in tournament.

Last season, the Lakers advanced through the play-in tournament, earning the No. 7 seed in the West. Ham coached the team to a Western Conference Finals berth, but he has been questioned during the 2023-24 season with the Lakers struggling since winning the league’s first In-Season Tournament.

If Ham has the support of James, one of the greatest players in NBA history, it’s hard to imagine the Lakers making any move in the coaching ranks this season.

Los Angeles still has some time until the Feb. 8 trade deadline to decide whether or not the current roster can compete for an NBA title. If not, the team may make a trade to give Ham some more pieces to work into his rotation.

The Lakers will be back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 23 to take on the Los Angeles Clippers. That game is expected to tip off at 7 p.m. PST.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.