It’s only been three days since the Los Angeles Lakers hired their new head coach Darvin Ham and it turns out he’s already making big moves.
Unlike during Frank Vogel’s tenure, it seems the Lakers are trusting Ham way more as, according to NBA senior reporter Mark Stein, the team’s senior advisor Kurt Rambis will not be a regular presence in coaching meetings like he was with Vogel.
Off to a strong and different start
Whether or not Ham demanded that Rambis shouldn’t be part of his meetings remains up in the air, but the Lakers are also going out of their way by giving Ham the autonomy to select his coaching staff — something they didn’t grant for Vogel in the past three years. Maybe the organization has also learned from its mistakes as they welcome a new face to lead its team.
The Lakers were attracted to Ham because of his commanding voice and ability to handle the locker room. Ham’s leadership is why he’s reportedly loved by many players and fellow coaches around the league. Aside from his ability to take charge, Ham also reportedly blew the Lakers away with his X and O’s, which he will need to utilize more than ever, mainly if Russell Westbrook stays in Los Angeles.
What Rambis’ absence means
The thought of Rambis making vital coaching and management decisions was a horrible look for the Lakers. It got to a point where multiple players from last season’s team questioned why in the world Rambis was part of the higher-ups. That’s how bad it looked.
But it seems the Lakers want to give their new coach a chance to lead the team the way he wants. Allowing Ham to be on the drawing board without Rambis means they trust their new guy. Another lesson the Lakers learned is that they didn’t cheap out and give Ham a disrespectful one-year contract this time which they did to Vogel during his tenure. Instead, Ham is reportedly expected to be under a four-year contract which depicts the organization’s complete trust in him.
Hiring Ham is the first of many important decisions the Lakers have to make this summer. They still have to figure out how to construct a roster that aligns with what Ham wants. Will this roster include arguably the most polarizing point guard in the league in Westbrook? Or will Ham get a new set of players around LeBron James and Anthony Davis?
Whatever the next few months have in store for the organization, at least Ham and Lakers fans can sleep well at night knowing that Rambis isn’t peaking in the shadows.