Brian Windhorst Compares Lakers New Head Coach with Fierce Rivals

Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Since confirming the acquisition of Darvin Ham as their new head coach, the Los Angeles Lakers have been a topic of conversation amongst the majority of NBA media.

For the most part, it seems that everybody believes Ham was the right choice despite his lack of head coaching experience. Still, the new Lakers coach is a former player, meaning he will instantly command respect in the locker room, and he’s also an experienced assistant coach, meaning players around the league are probably vouching for him behind closed doors.

When speaking to SportsCenter, ESPN’S Brian Windhorst spoke glowingly of Ham and detailed why he believes the Lakers’ new coach will hit the ground running, despite all of the issues facing his new team in terms of roster construction.

Why Darvin Ham is a good fit for the Lakers | SportsCenterWhy Darvin Ham is a good fit for the Lakers | SportsCenter Brian Windhorst breaks down why Darvin Ham's background makes him a good fit for the Lakers' head coaching vacancy. #SportsCenter #NBA ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN…2022-05-28T13:58:16Z

“Darvin Ham has been waiting for this opportunity, preparing for this opportunity, for years. He’s interviewed for job after job, and he’s performed well in those interviews, but he hasn’t gotten a chance until now. He has checked every box, he’s learned under great coaches, he’s coached superstars, and he’s been a part of championship teams.

In some ways, his resume is similar to that of Ime Udoka who’s having a terrific first season with the Boston Celtics, who spent a long time in the NBA as a role player and a long time on benches waiting for his opportunity. It was very important for the Lakers to have an ex-player to instantaneously have the respect of LeBron James and their other veterans,” Windhorst said.

Chauncey Billups Praises Ham

The NBA is undergoing a shift in coaching talent, with more and more ex-players taking up the reigns of teams around the league, with differing levels of success, as would be expected. Chauncey Billups has just completed his first season as a head coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, so he knows what Ham is walking into in terms of the job and the commitment it takes to turn a team around.

Speaking to Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the LA Times, Billups spoke glowingly of Ham, explaining why the Lakers have made the right decision in giving the former Milwaukee Bucks assistant his first shot at a head coaching job.

“He’s going to be honest as a coach of the Lakers, which is what I think you need in the NBA today — somebody that’s going, to be honest, but knows how to be honest without actually just tearing you down…What can you say? He’s won as a player. He’s won as a coach. I mean, this dude is more than qualified for the task at hand. I’m so happy and proud of him. I spoke to him last night and he was so excited,” Billups said when discussing Ham.

Metta Sandiford-Artest Also Backs Ham to Succeed

It comes as no surprise that a former NBA player getting their first coaching gig has received praise from multiple angles, especially from former players who he competed against. Still, the encouraging part about all the praise is that it all aligns with what everybody else is saying about him, primarily how he’s going to be upfront with his team and will get everybody pulling in the same direction.

When speaking to the LA Times, Metta Sandiford-Artest shared his opinion on why Ham will be a success in Tinseltown, describing the Lakers’ new coach’s ability to communicate with his team as one of his best assets.

“He definitely understands modern basketball. He also is capable of communicating in a way where you can receive it the right way. He’s definitely a presence, but he also has a communication about him that is, I’m not going to say soft, but you understand that he has your best interest at heart,” Artest said.

One thing’s for certain, Ham has stepped into one of the biggest jobs in the NBA at a time when the team needs more than a gentle hand, so he will have his work cut out for him – but, he has every tool necessary to be a success and it starts with creating a system that can get the best out of the Lakers aging stars.


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