June 17, 2024

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Before the Los Angeles Lakers can even attempt to get back into the NBA championship conversation, they’re going to have to find a replacement for former head coach Frank Vogel, whom they fired practically right after the buzzer sounded on their final regular-season game. The Lakers’ coaching search is expected to be far-reaching, with everyone from former Golden State Warriors coach and current broadcaster Mark Jackson to Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse reportedly on the table.

The Lakers will also look at candidates who have never held a head-coaching position, which has been a relatively popular move around the league in recent years. To that end, the Lakers have requested permission to interview Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham for the head coach opening, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Ham’s first NBA coaching experience actually came with the Lakers from 2011-13. After that he was an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks before joining the Bucks staff in 2018. Ham played eight NBA seasons, also spending time overseas and in the NBA D-League, but he is perhaps best known for shattering the backboard with a thunderous put-back dunk during the NCAA Tournament back in his college days at Texas Tech.

Ham has reportedly interviewed for head-coaching jobs such as the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers in the past, and is also reportedly being considered for the current Sacramento Kings’ vacancy.

Most expect the Lakers to select a coach with prior NBA experience to lead LeBron James, Anthony Davis and whatever the rest of the roster looks like next season. However, recently we’ve seen first-time head coaches like Taylor Jenkins in Memphis, Ime Udoka in Boston, Chris Finch in Minnesota and Willie Green in New Orleans have immediate success.

No matter whom the Lakers end up choosing, you can expect the search to be expansive for a franchise that’s clearly in win-now mode after an extremely disappointing season.

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