Darvin Ham To Talk With Lakers Young Players After Needing To Put Starters Back In Against Wizards
Darvin Ham, Lakers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the finale of a six-game road trip, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had to make sure his team was ready to finish this East Coast swing strong.

The final game of a trip is usually a trap game as the team is ready to get back home and taking on the Washington Wizards amplified it since they are not a good team. L.A. looked disinterested through various points of the game but built up a 13-point lead with a 1:21 in the contest and pulled the starters.

Things got interesting as the bench nearly blew this lead as it was cut down to five with 17 seconds left, resulting in Ham bringing LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves back to close it out. The second-year head coach expressed his disappointment with how the fourth quarter transpired but plans to use it as a teaching moment for the young guys, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:

“Definitely. It’s unfortunate,” Ham said after Lakers’ 125-120 win. “When you’re a young player, whether you’re a rookie, second year, third year, whatever, even a vet, you’re trying to secure a win after a topsy-turby game, we built a surplus, they climb back into it, we build another surplus, you put guys in the game and no matter what time it is, there’s no right of passage to be in this league. Whether you’re a player, coach, executive, it doesn’t matter… No one owes you anything. When you’re trying to establish yourself and the type of player you are, you have to approach each and every game (the same). I hate the term garbage time. You’re playing in the NBA. There’s only so many spots and when you get a chance to play, even if it’s the last 50 seconds, you go hard. You go hard, or stay home, pretty much. If you’re trying to establish yourself, you never know who’s watching. I’ve been a part of a lot of teams both as a player and a coach and when someone saw the was someone finished the game, it may be out of hand but they still went out there like it’s a tie ballgame and they put their best foot forward every single possession for however many possessions were left. We just got to have that mindset. The mindset that nothing is given, everything is earned. I’ll sit down with a couple of our young players on Friday, it’s a teachable moment. But I definitely wasn’t going to allow that to ruin the fact that we did what we did on this six-game trip. We had a little hiccup in Indiana obviously, but the way we started with the game in Milwaukee, tough, physical Memphis team, going through what we went through in Indiana, being able to bounce back in Brooklyn, Toronto and now tonight, it’s a great sign for our ballclub the way we able to push through.”

Regardless at this point of the season, the Lakers need wins, no matter how ugly it can get. This is indeed a great teaching moment for the young players on the team, but ultimately securing a victory is all that matters with five games remaining.

Darvin Ham praises Rui Hachimura for strong play as of late

Ever since Darvin Ham decided to insert Rui Hachimura into the starting lineup, winning became more consistent for L.A. Ham praised Hachimura’s recent play as of late, as the forward is shooting the ball with great efficiency.

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