Darvin Ham Will Return To The Bucks As An Assistant Coach Under Doc Rivers

Darvin Ham was fired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers after two seasons with a 90-74 combined record in the regular season and a 9-12 postseason record that included a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2023. However, Ham could not replicate that run this year and was let go after a first round exit in which the Lakers once again struggled to close out games against the Denver Nuggets.

How much of the Lakers issues fall on Ham is difficult to know, as he certainly wasn’t operating with an ideal roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but it also didn’t feel as though they were getting the absolute most out of that group. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, and Ham’s tenure certainly wasn’t a disaster even if he only lasted two seasons in the pressure cooker that is the Lakers bench.

As such, there was a bit of wonder as to what Ham would do in the immediate, as he figures to be considered for head coaching jobs again in the future, but was immediately the most coveted potential lead assistant on the coaching market. A number of contenders reportedly made a pass at Ham to join their staffs, but ultimately he chose to return to Milwaukee, where he spent four seasons under Mike Budenholzer and will now work for Doc Rivers.

Ham could’ve joined Budenholzer in Phoenix, but opted to go with the roster he’s more comfortable with in Milwaukee, as he has a tremendous relationship with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and the longtime Bucks core. For Rivers, he brings back an assistant who knows how to get the most out that group, having been on the staff that led Milwaukee to its lone championship, and Ham gets to slide back into a comfortable situation while keeping his options open for a future head coaching gig in the coming years.