The Lakers appear poised to make a decision on their coaching position soon, with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts the finalists for the job that became vacant when Frank Vogel was fired at season’s end. But as the final round of interviews is set, sources tell The Athletic that Ham appears to have made the strongest impression yet.
Source: Shams Charania, Sam Amick, Shams Charania and Sam Amick @ The Athletic
What’s the buzz on Twitter?
Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
I’ve been sick in bed basically all week so I’m not really following news as closely as I normally would, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear Darvin Ham was a favorite for the Lakers job. He’d be my pick among the favorites. – 4:31 PM
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Sources: Finalists for the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job: Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts. Next stage of interviews are expected to take place in-person in Los Angeles. – 2:07 PM
Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
Re: today’s news, who do you guys like best for the Lakers new coach? Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts, or AK’s radical plan where Westbrook opts out, retires, creates $19M of cap space, and gets a $47M coaching contract? @LockedOnLakers @LockedOnNetwork @ESPNLosAngeles @LockedOnNBAPods – 2:07 PM
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts are among candidates who’ve advanced to the final round of interviews for the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching job, sources tell ESPN. – 1:37 PM
More on this storyline
In terms of the Lakers’ preferences, sources say team officials have prioritized a coach who can command respect and authority from the locker room and who has a strong enough presence and voice to manage the varying roles and relationships across the roster. Those characteristics bode well for Ham’s candidacy. Throughout assistant coaching stops with the Lakers, Hawks and Bucks, Ham has been known for his no-nonsense style and ability to resonate with his players — attributes that have stood out in his communication with the Lakers thus far as well, sources said. -via The Athletic / May 20, 2022
Ham, who played in eight NBA seasons from 1996 to 2008, is the only former NBA player among the three finalists. Even before he reached the NBA, however, Ham’s reputation as a force of nature was cemented when he broke the backboard while dunking during his 1996 NCAA Tournament run with Texas Tech. Ham, Stotts and Atkinson are in consideration for the Charlotte Hornets vacancy as well. Ham is also a serious candidate for the Hornets, according to sources. -via The Athletic / May 20, 2022
All three finalists will soon meet with top Lakers officials — including owner Jeanie Buss — in Los Angeles for the next in-person stage, sources said. So far, Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, director of basketball affairs Kurt Rambis, vice president of research and development Joey Buss and assistant general manager Jesse Buss have led the first stage of coaching interviews. -via The Athletic / May 20, 2022