"That was the main reason, to be honest," Schroder said when asked about his special connection with Ham. "I've been with him 2013 when I got drafted in Atlanta, and he's been nothing but great to me, learning from him over the years, staying in touch. He had camps in Germany where I came to support him. I call him family, and he knows that."
Ham's colorful NBA career
Ham entered the NBA in the 1996 offseason, signing with the Denver Nuggets as a free agent. The Michigan native had stints with six different NBA teams as a player, winning the title in the 2003-04 season with the Detroit Pistons.
After retiring as a player, Ham embarked on a coaching career that saw him land assistant coaching positions for various franchises, including the Lakers and Atlanta Hawks. During Ham's tenure with the Hawks from 2013 to 2018, Schroder was an important member of the team.
Schroder's unfinished business
The 6-foot-1 guard first wore the Purple and Gold in the 2020-21 season. Unfortunately, the team placed just seventh in the Western Conference in that campaign and lost in the first round to the Phoenix Suns.
Even though the Lakers' season ended prematurely, Schroder had some terrific moments with the franchise, averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per contest.
The veteran point guard had started all the contests he appeared in as a Laker, but he will likely come off the bench this time. After all, several big names are ahead of him in the rotation, including Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, and Patrick Beverley.
Even so, it appears that he is ready to help L.A. in any way he can.