New Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham introduced himself at the press conference, praising Russell Westbrook and introducing himself. Ham is the 28th different manager in history to sit on the Lakers bench. He said: "Let's not joke: Westbrook is one of the best players to ever hit a court in the NBA and there's still a lot of gas in his tank.
I don't understand why everyone tries to take him out. Russ and I had several private interviews, he is a fantastic person: the word that most frequently came out in those discussions was Sacrifice. I therefore expect you to continue to be the tenacious and talented fighter full of energy that we were lucky enough to see on the court.
NBA for all these years, perhaps without the ball in hand, trying to make an impact especially in defense: the important thing is to understand that everything starts with sacrifice. Anthony Davis is the key to our squad. I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan: I was accidentally hit by a bullet in the face on April 5, 1988.
If you find yourself having to go through such experiences, you can only get out of it in two ways: full of fear or no longer afraid of anything. For me the second option is valid: nothing scares me, I live without pressure and I know that all I have to discuss and talk about is just basketball."
Darvin Ham's career
Ham was named an assistant coach for the Thunderbirds. In October 2011, he became an assistant coach on Mike Brown's staff with the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2013, he joined the Atlanta Hawks' coaching staff.
In 2014 and 2015, he was part of the coaching staff that led the Atlanta Hawks. He helped the Hawks reach the playoffs in two consecutive seasons including making it to the Eastern Conference finals in 2015. Along with his help in bringing Atlanta to the playoffs, he also assisted the Atlanta Hawks starting five into 2015 NBA All-Stars.
In 2018, he followed Mike Budenholzer to Milwaukee, where during the 2019–2020 season, Budenholzer won the NBA's Coach of the Year award. In 2020–21, Ham helped coach Milwaukee to the its second NBA title in franchise history, beating the Phoenix Suns in six games in the 2021 NBA Finals for their the first championship since 1971. Ham was hired as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on June 3, 2022