Report: Sources reveal reasons for ‘deepening disconnect’ between Darvin Ham and Lakers locker room

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

There is reportedly a deepening disconnect between Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham and the team’s locker room.

“Following their ninth loss in 12 games, the Los Angeles Lakers have hit a new nadir in their season, amplifying concerns about the direction of the season from both inside and outside the organization,” Shams Charania and Jovan Buha wrote.

“There’s currently a deepening disconnect between Darvin Ham and the Lakers locker room, six sources with direct knowledge of the situation say, raising questions about the head coach’s standing. The people spoke with The Athletic on condition of anonymity so that they could speak freely on the matter. Those sources have described that the disjointedness between the coach and team has stemmed from the extreme rotation and starting lineup adjustments recently from Ham, leading to a fluctuating rhythm for several players across the roster.”

Ever since the Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers in the In-Season Tournament title game back on Dec. 9, Los Angeles has struggled to win games. Over their last 10 games, the Lakers own a poor 2-8 record and are also riding a three-game losing streak.

The Lakers’ most recent loss came against guard Tyler Herro and the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Los Angeles lost by 14 points, and LeBron James had one of his worst scoring performances of the 2023-24 regular season to this point.

In 38 minutes of playing time, James dropped just 12 points while shooting 6-of-18 from the floor and 0-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. He also chipped in six rebounds and nine assists.

Big man Anthony Davis performed much better than his co-star. He scored a team-high 29 points for the Lakers to go along with 17 rebounds, six assists, three steals and five blocks in 43 minutes of action.

As for the opposition, Herro led the Heat in scoring with 21 points while shooting 7-of-19 from the floor, 4-of-8 from behind the 3-point line and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line.

Los Angeles’ loss to the Heat dropped its record to 17-18, which is the 10th-best record in the Western Conference at this juncture. The Lakers are a game and a half back of the Houston Rockets — who have won their last two games — for the No. 8 seed in the conference.

Ham and company will have a chance to end their three-game losing streak when they take on Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies at home on Friday night. The Grizzlies have been playing better basketball since Morant returned to the team from his suspension, but the team is still fresh off a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

If the report from Charania and Buha is any indication, how the Lakers perform in their next few games could impact Ham’s future with the franchise. Hopefully for the Lakers, they will be able to string together some wins in the near future, starting on Friday when they take on the Grizzlies.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.