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#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Did Darvin Ham call out Lakers starter?

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 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Did Darvin Ham call out one of the Los Angeles Lakers’ starters? That’s what many are wondering.

ESPN published a lengthy article Tuesday regarding the Lakers now that the team’s season has come to an end. Ham, who just completed his second season as the team’s head coach, was quoted in the article defending himself over the multiple lineups he used throughout the season.

“It’s been extremely challenging,” Ham said of juggling his lineup, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Everyone that’s been in and out of the lineup. Being criticized for not having a consistent rotation when I don’t have consistent healthy bodies. The thing that frustrates me, and I love this job, I love the pressure that comes with it, I’ve always been calm in the midst of chaos … [But] common sense tends to go out the window when you talk about my job in particular.

“It’s amazing how people just skip that core part of having a consistency with your lineup is all predicated on health and performance. If you’re coaching a team and one of your starters is like 10 games in a row, just s—ting the bed, what are you going to do?”

It’s that final quote that drew the attention of many people. Some thought Ham was directly calling out a specific player.

First off, Ham was using the injuries to defend why there were several different lineups. Then he implied he also changed lineups when some of his players were struggling.

Ham had benched both Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell at times during the season. So it’s possible he was pointing the finger at one of those two players. But it’s more likely he was speaking generally about the reasons he used multiple lineups — injuries and player slumps.

The bottom line is this: the Lakers feel Ham needed to make the most of what he had, and that he wasn’t doing that.

As of now, a report says Ham is unlikely to return to the Lakers for next season.

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