Former Lakers Head Coach Darvin Ham Accepts Position On Doc Rivers’ Staff With Bucks
Darvin Ham, Lakers, Nuggets
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

After parting ways with head coach Darvin Ham, the Los Angeles Lakers are knee deep in another coaching search, their third since Rob Pelinka took over the front office in 2019.

Ham was pegged as the guy to turn things around for L.A. but despite making the postseason in two straight years, including a Western Conference Finals appearance, the franchise decided to go in a different direction.

The Lakers’ top target over the past week has been UConn head coach Dan Hurley, although they have yet to make any sort of hiring official.

Meanwhile, Ham has not wasted much time finding another job for himself as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that he will be joining Doc Rivers’ staff as the top assistant on the Milwaukee Bucks:

This is a reunion for Ham and the Bucks as he played there from 1999-2002 and then was there from 2018-22 as the top assistant on Mike Budenholzer’s staff. Ham is known to have a close relationship with Giannis Antetokounmpo and some of the other prominent players in Milwaukee, so returning to a place he was familiar with made sense after being let go by the Lakers.

Ham’s other option would have been to reunite with Budenholzer, who just accepted the head coaching position with the Phoenix Suns, although he reportedly turned that opportunity down.

The 50-year-old is reportedly expected to become a head coaching candidate again in the future, but until that day comes, he will be back in a familiar position as the top assistant on the Bucks.

Ham had two years left on his Lakers contract but since he accepted a job as an assistant and not a head coach, L.A. will still be on the hook for that.

Jaxson Hayes evaluates 2023-24 season with Lakers

One player who Darvin Ham helped develop is L.A. was big man Jaxson Hayes, who recently evaluated his first season with the Lakers.

“Definitely struggled a lot to start the year,” Hayes said of his play and role. “Just in and out of the rotation, not knowing when I was gonna get minutes and having very inconsistent minutes. I feel like when Coach benched me for that month and a half, I was able to sit back and actually figure out how I can help this team more and I feel like as the season went on, I tried to grow more into my role of just being the backup and bringing energy and stuff.”

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