Report: Some say LeBron James wasn’t happy with Darvin Ham when Lakers struggled earlier this season

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James wasn’t happy with head coach Darvin Ham when the team was struggling earlier in the season, according to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus.

“There was some buzz in NBA circles that James wasn’t happy with head coach Darvin Ham when the team struggled earlier in the season,” Pincus wrote. “If the Lakers don’t win a playoff series this year, will James try to make the team pick between him and the coach?”

Just last month, Lakers Daily’s Anthony Irwin reported that James will often override Ham’s playcalling with his own plays.

“He sits in the huddle and gets his rest/water, rolls his eyes as Ham speaks and waits for the huddle to break,” one source close to the situation told Irwin. “If Ham ever does draw up a play, as soon as the huddle breaks, James will tell everyone else on the court with him ‘f— all that’ and calls a play of his own.”

The Lakers have turned things around, clinching a berth in the NBA’s play-in tournament and holding a 45-35 record with two games left in their 2023-24 regular season.

However, the Lakers are currently the No. 9 seed in the West and could be facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs – never mind win a playoff series – this postseason.

If the Lakers end up in the No. 9 or No. 10 spot in the West, they’ll need to win two play-in games in a row to earn the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.

Los Angeles is currently 0.5 games back of the Sacramento Kings for the No. 8 seed, but the Kings have the tiebreaker over Los Angeles after sweeping the season series between the teams.

That means that Los Angeles has to finish with a better record than Sacramento to move ahead of it in the standings.

Depending upon how the top of the Western Conference shakes out, there’s also a chance the Lakers could face the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, which would be a tough matchup for Los Angeles.

After making the Western Conference Finals last season, James likely doesn’t want to see the team take a step back, especially since he’s nearing the end of his career at age 39.

This season, James is putting up terrific numbers once again, averaging 25.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game while shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range.

It’s hard to see the Lakers choosing Ham over James – if things come to that – this coming offseason.

In two seasons as the Lakers head coach, Ham has compiled a regular season record of 88-74. He’s also 8-8 in the playoffs after winning two series last season. The Lakers coach is certainly hoping the team can make a deep run to keep him off the hot seat going into the offseason.

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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.