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#pounditMonday, April 22, 2024

Darvin Ham takes apparent swipe at Steve Kerr over flopping accusation

Darvin Ham smiling

Nov 30, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham at a press conference during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The usually bland midgame coach’s interview got pretty spicy in Game 5 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

The Lakers won Game 4 of the series by a 104-101 final to take a 3-1 lead. After that contest, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr complained about the officiating and got in a swipe at the Lakers players for supposedly flopping.

Kerr specifically said that some of the plays the Warriors got whistled for fouls on were “flops” by the Lakers. Kerr also said the Lakers “understand how to generate some calls.” You can read Kerr’s full remarks here.

Darvin Ham, the Lakers coach, seemed to respond to that accusation in his sideline interview with TNT’s Chris Haynes after the first quarter of Game 5.

“We don’t teach flopping,” said Ham, responding to a seemingly unrelated question about Lakers guard Dennis Schroder not getting a call. “We teach our players to play downhill and attack the paint and be forceful.”

Ham’s in-game remarks came after he was also asked before the game about Kerr’s comments. At that time, Ham responded by saying, in part, “I don’t go down the rabbit hole of blaming officials.”

The Lakers have overwhelmingly outshot their opponents from the free throw line during this postseason. That was the case for much of the regular season as well (ostensibly after a big blown call went against the Lakers in a game in January). Lakers players like Schroder, Austin Reaves, and LeBron James have also been accused by fans of really embellishing light contact in an attempt to draw whistles.

But the Lakers often put the ball on the deck and attack the basket, which can lead to large free throw disparities compared to more jump shot-heavy teams like the Warriors. Ham doesn’t appreciate the insinuation that his players are a bunch of floppers though (despite the fact that other teams think the same thing about the Lakers).

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