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The Lakers hired Darvin Hamm, ticking several boxes with the first-year coach

After a month and a half search, a file Lakers Several sources hired their next coach, Darvin Hamm, on Friday afternoon the athlete.

Hamm, 48, has checked nearly every box for the Lakers as they search for coaching: he has ties to the franchise, he has championship pedigree, and he’s coached several big stars (most notably Kobe Bryant and Giannis Antikonmo), a former player, with a strong commanding personality, is loved by players and is a respected tactician from the venerable Popovich/Budenholzer training tree.

In an otherwise lackluster coaching market, Ham fits the picture of a first year coach with the upside to being successful from day one.

Hamm appeared to be an obvious pick for the Lakers vacancy after vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said the team was looking for a candidate with charisma and high-level communication skills after former coach Frank Vogel was fired on April 11.

Ham is known as the charismatic communicator who holds players to account and sets strong boundaries. Despite his experience in player development – a skill that can certainly help the Lakers’ internal improvement – he is a defensive-minded tactician who has played a prominent role in developing a defensive plan for the Bucks Championship.

According to sources, Hamm has agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers. He worked as an assistant coach for 11 seasons, making his debut with the Mike Brown Lakers in 2011, before spending the past nine years in Atlanta and Milwaukee as principal assistant under Mike Budenholzer. Hamm is a two-time champion, won as a player (with Detroit Pistons in 2003-04) and as an assistant coach (with Milwaukee Bucks in 2020-21).

Three years after their last search for coaching failed, the Lakers hired the best candidate available. pork meat Second place in the athleteTraining ratings – the first choice in the market (No. 1 was Utah Jazz Head coach Quinn Snyder, who was linked to the Lakers but was never officially available).

The only reason Hamm’s hire came as a mild surprise is because of the Lakers’ history. They have traditionally preferred the names of flashy coaches: Phil Jackson, Rudy Tomjanovic, Mike D’Antoni and Tyrone Law (the lead candidate before they hired Vogel).

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But without a clear candidate of this type, they had two options: hire a revamp or give an assistant coach a chance.

The Lakers decided to break out of their comfort zone and hire a first-year head coach with great potential (the last first-year Lakers coach, Luke Walton, played nine seasons in Los Angeles and had much stronger relationships with the organization). Hamm has a chance to stabilize the Lakers training site after a decade of turmoil since Jackson’s departure.

Hamm impressed the Lakers, defeating the most experienced candidates, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson. The Lakers decided on Hamm after interviewing Stots on Tuesday and Hamm on Thursday, according to sources. Hamm is the 28th Lakers coach in the team’s history and sixth in the past 11 years.

It is not known how the Lakers dealt with Vogel β€” making him low initially over the two years and the money, offering him a one-year extension after winning a championship, after a report leaked from the bell in the last regular season of the game β€” affected league-level interest from Already contract coaches, such as Nick Norse, Quinn Snyder and Doc Rivers. It looks like these names would have continued the Lakers more seriously in years past and/or had the circumstances been different.

Aside from playing a major role in Antetokounmpo’s rise to stardom, Hamm gained Bryant’s respect and also established relationships with Pau Gasol, AlhorfordAnd the khris middletonAnd the Brooke LopezAnd the Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

The only real blow against him is that he has no coaching experience. He’s been a runner-up for several head coaching positions in recent years and has been strongly regarded in Charlotte Hornets vacant. It was only a matter of time before he had a chance.

Hamm follows in the footsteps of the new coaches who cut their teeth in the World League: Nurse, Snyder, Taylor Jenkins and Chris Finch. The four coaches quickly succeeded in NBA level.

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However, the difference between Hamm and those four names is Saginaw, Michigan, who played eight seasons in the NBA from 1996 to 2005 as a hardcore player with DenverAnd the IndianaAnd the WashingtonMilwaukee, Atlanta, and Detroit. This gives him instant appeal with the players.

As Ime Udoka and Willie Green have shown this season, and Steve Kerr, Tyronn Lue and Nurse in recent years, first-year coaches can step in and make a huge impact (and in the case of the last three, winning trophies as a junior coach).

According to ESPN, Hamm and the Lakers will assemble a team with major coaching experience. Vogel’s assistant coaching staff has conducted initial draft training for the team, but it’s unclear how many – if any – of them will remain on Ham’s squad.

After the Lakers’ disastrous 33-49 season, in which he finished 11th in the West and missed the Play-In Championship, Hamm was tasked with making the Lakers’ rivals contenders once again. It is undoubtedly a difficult task: LeBron James He will turn 38 in December, Anthony Davis Suffering several serious injuries over the past two seasons, Westbrook is horribly fit alongside his star teammates, to put things nicely, and the Lakers don’t have many tools to rebuild their shallow roster.

Westbrook’s future in Los Angeles remains unclear. There is an increased possibility of him returning because the Lakers do not want to attach a first-round pick to his transfer, and some within the organization believe the new coach could further align with Westbrook, James and Davis. Hamm had to sell the Lakers how the 14-year-old star guard would use next season if the Lakers kept him.

Hamm, who has become a Laker fan favorite in recent weeks, has garnered important support from several Lakers personalities, including tweets from James (who was a Hamm supporter), Lakers legend and former chief of basketball operations Magic Johnson (who advised on This process)) and a free proxy suite soon Kent Bazimore.

Johnson, who was an advisor to Governor Jenny Boss and the front office as they searched for training, Tell the athlete On Monday, he wanted to appoint a former player as the next Lakers coach.

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“Maybe besides Eric Spoelstra, the other three in the fourth are former players,” Johnson said. “So I think that says a lot about those young ex-players who are immediately respected, who have done this before. I’m not saying he has to be an ex, but I’m saying you have to look at what’s going on.”

β€œBut the most important thing for me is accountability. They should hold everyone accountable, from one to 15. And stay away from accountability. Guys never talked about this season. It was always someone else’s fault. I hated it. Never,” hey, I played badly. . Hello, this is up to me. So whether it’s an ex-player or not, but the trend is ex-players. But if not, I want a coach who holds everyone accountable. And that’s what I’d like to see.”

The Lakers’ next business order is to figure out what to do with Westbrook, prepare for the June 23 NBA draft, for which they will try to buy a second-round pick, and then start the free agency on June 30.

But the most important part of the Lakers’ season was officially settled. Significant is a departure from their typical coaching assignments, with the potential to connect the fine needle between the Lakers’ present and their future. Their crucial summer has got off to an impressive start.

(Photo: David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

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