Report: Lakers players lost faith in Darvin Ham for at least 3 different reasons

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Players on the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly lost faith in Darvin Ham for at least three different reasons, which may have led to him getting fired as L.A.’s head coach shortly after the team was eliminated from the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

“Internally, though, players had lost faith in Ham — too much experimentation, too many opponents’ runs swelled without triggering Ham to call timeouts, too many questions about his strategy and adjustments,” wrote Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

Ham’s dismissal ultimately led to the hiring of J.J. Redick as the Lakers’ new head coach.

The perceived shortcomings of Ham in regards to strategy, player usage and game management apparently were too much to overcome as the Lakers again had to survive the play-in round before having their season come to an end at the hands of the Denver Nuggets.

In their first season under Ham, the Lakers made it all the way to the 2023 Western Conference Finals before getting swept by Denver. However, in Ham’s second campaign, they were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round in just five games.

Speculation about Ham’s job security was a hot topic for much of the 2023-24 NBA season, with LeBron James potentially unhappy with the head coach even early in the season.

Fellow superstar Anthony Davis also may have taken a shot at the Lakers coaching staff, and the team reportedly may have fired Ham partly because it was fearful of the idea that Davis would request a trade.

Having gone through seven head coaches (including one interim head coach) since Phil Jackson’s last season in the 2010-11 campaign, the Lakers have to be hoping that Redick is finally the long-term answer.

He is taking over a roster that may be in flux heading into the upcoming season. James has a player option in his contract and could choose to become a free agent, a decision that is also facing D’Angelo Russell.

The Lakers also reportedly may be ready to circle back on possible trade target Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks, and they could make even more news at the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft with a reported interest in selecting Bronny James and a possible desire to trade for a top-five pick.

Back-to-back playoff appearances with one visit to the conference finals weren’t enough for Ham to hold on to his job. It now will be very interesting to see how Redick fares as his replacement.

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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.