Monday, March 20, 2023

Associated Press source: Lakers pick Darwin Hamm as next head coach

LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) – Darwin Hamm has accepted an offer to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, a person with knowledge of the decision says.

The person spoke to the Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been publicly announced.

Haim, 48, is getting his first head coaching job as the 28th coach in Lakers history. He has been an assistant to Mike Buddenholzer with the Milwaukee Bucks since 2018, and he was instrumental in their run to the 2021 NBA title.

Haim will succeed Frank Vogel, who was fired a day after the Lakers led one of the most disappointing seasons in NBA history 33-49 and missed the playoffs.

The Lakers flopped despite another impressive season from LeBron James, who welcomed his new head coach on social media even before the move was publicly announced.

“So excited!!!!!!!!” James tweeted. “Congratulations and welcome Coach Dham!!”

Hamm will currently be the 15th Black coach in the NBA, the most at one time.

Haim was a player development assistant coach with the Lakers from 2011–13 with Kobe Bryant as head coach Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoine on staff. Haim served a five-year stint on the staff of the Atlanta Hawks under Budenholzer, developing a reputation as an effective communicator with versatile tactical knowledge.

Budenholzer’s staff along with the Hawks also included Taylor Jenkins, Quinn Snyder and Kenny Atkinson, who all became head coaches of the NBA.

Vogel led the Lakers to the franchise’s 17th title just 18 months before his firing. He failed to celebrate a winning season from a veteran-laden roster led by James, recurrent injured Anthony Davis and newcomer Russell Westbrook, who had a disappointing first season with his hometown team. Westbrook is under contract with the Lakers for one more season.

Hamm played eight seasons in the NBA and won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 before moving on to coaching. The Michigan native played collegiately at Texas Tech.


Associated Press Basketball writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.


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