In spite of how the season ended for the Los Angeles Lakers, there’s no denying that Darvin Ham put in a commendable effort in his first year as the team’s head coach. Darvin Ham played an integral role in the Lakers’ resurgence following the NBA trade deadline, and some might even argue that they overachieved by going all the way to the Western Conference Finals this season.
As such, there appears to be no issue with regard to Ham’s job security with the Lakers right now. The general expectation is that he will be back at the helm next season in what will be his sophomore year as an NBA head coach. The same cannot be said, however, for a handful of Ham’s colleagues in the NBA. Big-name coaches such as Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks, Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns, the Toronto Raptors’ Nick Nurse, and Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers have all been fired from their respective posts in the past few weeks.
This shocking turn of events has prompted a brutally honest reaction from Darvin Ham. The Lakers shot-caller could not help but call out the current culture of the league in terms of the lack of support the coaches have been receiving from the fans, the media, the organizations, and even the players:
“I think the pressure from public outcry, be it television or social media, fans in market, I don’t know, I mean, it’s unfortunate because you’re looking at some of those guys that got let go, highly, highly, highly capable, competent and winning coaches,” Ham said, via Matt Peralta of Lakers Nation.
“It’s just a different day. I think we’ve come into a society where it’s microwave, it’s knee-jerk, and then the players. The players, if they really want a guy, they have to step up. If there’s any inkling of “I don’t know, I’m 50/50,” then that gets the trigger pulled that much quicker.I wish those guys nothing but the best. I’ve interacted obviously with all of them, and nothing but positive feedback, and my exploration of what it’s like to be in this seat for the first time, and I wish them nothing but the best, but it’s unfortunate that it ends like that, like after having success and just the lack of patience sometimes is overwhelming. It is what it is.”
He’s not wrong. Some of the most high-profile and historically successful coaches in the league just got axed in quick succession, and if this does not stand as proof of Darvin Ham’s sentiments here then I no longer know what would. The Lakers coach has given his unfiltered view on the state of the coaching culture in the NBA today, and it’s hard not to agree with his assessment here.
“Obviously it was great to see the hiring process benefit people of color, but outside of that, it’s a volatile, volatile — I think it’s the most volatile aspect of employment within the NBA is being an NBA coach, hands down,” Ham said.