The Lakers Fired Darvin Ham After Two Years

The Los Angeles Lakers are once again in the market for a new head coach. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers decided to follow up their first-round exit from the playoffs by firing Darvin Ham, who was hired in the lead-up to the 2022-23 campaign. Wojnarowski reported that Rob Pelinka informed Ham of the decision over the phone.

Shams Charania of The Athletic floated a list of potential candidates, which includes a number of high-profile former head coaches who are (and could be) on the market, along with an intriguing name in ex-player and co-host of the “Mind the Game” podcast with LeBron James, JJ Redick.

After a lengthy playing career, Ham got into coaching, and spent more than a decade as an assistant with the Lakers, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Milwaukee Bucks. A frequent name on potential head coaching list for years, Ham finally got hired by the Lakers in the aftermath of Frank Vogel’s ouster. His tenure did include some highs — the team was above-.500 in both of his seasons at the helm, they made the Western Conference Finals last year, and they won the In-Season Tournament this past December — but he frequently came under criticism, particularly for his rotations.

The decision to fire Ham comes on the heels of the Lakers getting a rematch with the team that eliminated them from the postseason last year, the Denver Nuggets. They ended up losing in five games.