Darvin Ham Image Credit: House of Highlights Youtube

Can Lakers’ Head Coach Darvin Ham Finally Get Some Love, Too?

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The LA Lakers are on an improbable run to the playoffs and just shocked the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors by decisively taking them out in six games.

Lakers fans are cheering on the ageless LeBron James, praying for Anthony Davis to remain healthy and marveling at the emergence of undrafted Oklahoma rookie Austin Reaves.

And while the team is also getting outstanding contributions from players like Rui Hachimura and Lonnie Walker IV, many overlook the man in charge- Davin Ham.

Last June, Ham was introduced as the 28th head coach of the Lakers. He didn’t receive much fanfare at the time despite returning to the team where he was an assistant coach from 2011 – 2013.

Maybe it’s because Ham wasn’t a star as a player or a coach.

Ham played collegiately at Texas Tech for three years, averaging 8.1 ppg and 5.1 rpg over his tenure with the Red Raiders. He then played in the NBA for eight years with six different teams, averaging a mere 2.7 ppg and 2.3 rpg. And he actually won an NBA title with Detroit in 2004, so while he lacks stats, he has something all NBA players crave.

“I wasn’t blessed with this otherworldly talent,” said Ham at his Lakers’ introductory press conference. “I was a pretty good athlete who could hold my own on the court a little bit, but the sweet jump shots, the no-look passes, that wasn’t a part of my game.

While Ham didn’t impress on the floor, he was learning the game for his next career in coaching. And his style of play helped him transition into the field.

“I was a blue-collar contributor on a lot of teams,” said Ham. “It prepares you, creates a certain type of mentality to where you don’t want to cut any corners. Understand what the details are. Whether you’re watching film, talking about coverages or doing workouts in the summertime. Being specifically locked in on what your job is going to be.”

It’s obvious that he made an impact as an assistant coach as the stars of two teams, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, both praised their former assistant coach.

“I’m so happy for him. He’s the right fit for them. He keeps it real with you. No BS at all. It’s about damn time. He deserves it more than anyone,” said Giannis to ESPN.

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