Report: Darvin Ham being linked to Hornets following their hire of Charles Lee

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham reportedly could be a candidate to join the Charlotte Hornets coaching staff under new head coach Charles Lee.

Lee recently agreed to a four-year deal to take over the Hornets, who were coached by Steve Clifford in the 2023-24 season.

Clifford announced toward the end of the 2023-24 regular season that he’d be stepping down to move into an advisory role with the front office next season.

The Lakers fired Ham following their first-round exit in the playoffs. Los Angeles lost in five games to the No. 2-seeded Denver Nuggets after earning the No. 7 seed in the West by way of the play-in tournament.

As the head coach of the Lakers, Ham compiled a 90-74 record in the regular season and a 9-12 mark in the playoffs. The Lakers are just 1-8 in their last two playoff series (both against Denver).

Even though Ham led the team to the postseason in back-to-back campaigns, the Lakers had to battle through the play-in tournament both times to make the playoffs in the West.

When Ham took the Lakers job, he agreed to a four-year deal (prior to the 2022-23 season) to replace former L.A. head coach Frank Vogel. However, the team decided to pull the plug on him after just two seasons.

An assistant with the Lakers, Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks before earning his first head-coaching job, Ham certainly has a lot of experience that could be valued by Lee as he builds his staff in Charlotte.

The Hornets are hoping to turn around their franchise after missing the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons. Charlotte has failed to win more than 27 games in each of the last two campaigns, finishing with a 21-61 record in the 2023-24 season.

After moving on from James Borrego following the 2021-22 season, the Hornets brought back Clifford, who coached the team from the 2013-14 season through the 2017-18 campaign, leading Charlotte to two playoff appearances during that stretch.

Now, the franchise is getting a new voice in the locker room with Lee, who will be tasked with getting the most out of LaMelo Ball and the 2023 NBA Draft’s No. 2 overall pick, Brandon Miller.

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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.