The loss of coach Darvin Ham was a major blow for the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer.
Ham left the Bucks following the 2021-22 season to take the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach job. He was a favorite coach of Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Losing Darvin Ham was a blow to the Bucks’ coaching staff, per @JakeLFischer
Ham was a ‘known favorite’ of Giannis Antetokounmpo pic.twitter.com/vWvdOznuvk
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) April 28, 2023
“Another keen difference from 2021 is that Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, a known favorite assistant of Antetokounmpo’s, sources said, has since departed the franchise to take the Lakers’ head coaching job,” Fischer wrote.
The 2022-23 season ended in disappointing fashion for the Bucks, as they were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.
Milwaukee entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and it had the best record in the NBA in the regular season. However, a lower back injury for Antetokounmpo kept him out of the majority of the first three games of the series.
Even when he returned in Game 4, the Bucks were unable to beat the Heat, blowing leads in both Game 4 and Game 5 to lose the series in five games.
Ham and the Lakers are up 3-2 in their own first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The first-year head coach had been an assistant coach for the Bucks for the last four seasons before joining the Lakers. He helped turn the Lakers around after a slow start to the 2022-23 campaign, leading the team to the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.
It seems like the Bucks haven’t exactly found a replacement for Ham, especially since he was so close with Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks won the NBA Finals in the 2020-21 season, but they have a lot of work to do if they want to become a championship team again after getting upset this season. The Bucks have won just one playoff series since defeating the Suns in the NBA Finals.
As for Ham, he and the Lakers are hoping to make a deep playoff run this season. Los Angeles can close out its series with the Grizzlies on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena. The Lakers dropped Game 5 in Memphis after getting out to a 3-1 lead in the series.
Lakers fans have to be happy to have a coach like Ham who seems to be well-liked among players in the NBA.