Report: High-ranking Lakers source pushes back on idea that Darvin Ham is about to be fired

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Every loss by the Los Angeles Lakers adds fuel to the idea that they are going to fire head coach Darvin Ham, but one high-ranking team source reportedly is pushing back on that idea.

“Yet as we’re reminded every year, there’s a significant difference between the mood around a coach souring and the power brokers above him actually deciding to make a change,” wrote Sam Amick. “With that in mind, a high-ranking Lakers source pushed back against the idea Ham is on the verge of being fired. Still, serious pressure from within is clearly being applied on Ham, and there’s no better way for him to relieve it than by winning his way out in the days and weeks to come.”

A three-game losing streak has dropped the Lakers below .500 with a 17-18 record heading into their game Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies. In addition, they are in the midst of a stretch of just two wins in their past 10 games.

The Lakers were five games over .500 when they defeated the Indiana Pacers to win the first NBA In-Season Tournament on Dec. 9. Since then they are 3-9, with the latest defeat a 110-96 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

The tough stretch has turned the focus squarely on the head coach, whose recent changes to the starting lineup are not paying off. ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins said Ham needs to elevate his game “all across the board,” and a report recently surfaced that that there is a “deepening disconnect” between him and the locker room.

But there seems to be plenty of blame to go around. ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith said there is a long list of players who have “betrayed” teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis, owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka.

Former NBA coach George Karl also has insinuated that Davis is more to blame for the team’s woes than Ham. The 30-year-old is averaging 25.2 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game and has sat out just twice so far this season.

James is certainly doing all he can at 39 years old and in his 21st NBA season. The superstar is averaging 25.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game in his 32 appearances. He also is averaging more than 34 minutes per game despite an intended plan to more carefully manage his workload this season.

With the NBA trade deadline next month, a shake-up could be in order for the Lakers as the season moves along. Whether that includes replacing the head coach could be determined by the results on the court in the next couple of weeks.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.