Los Angeles Lakers fires Darvin Ham after two seasons and first-round playoff loss

Darvin Ham was sacked as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday after only two seasons. Four days after their season ended with a five-game first-round playoff loss to Denver, the Lakers revealed on social media that they were releasing Ham.

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Varun Sarwate
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Darvin Ham was sacked as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday after only two seasons. Four days after their season ended with a five-game first-round playoff loss to Denver, the Lakers revealed on social media that they were releasing Ham.

In his debut year as an NBA head coach, Darvin Ham guided Los Angeles to the Western Conference finals. He had taken over for Frank Vogel, who was sacked by the Lakers exactly 18 months after the team won its 17th title in 2020.

Ham had two winning seasons and made two playoff berths, but it wasn't enough for the championship-hungry Lakers. With little time left to capitalize on the concurrent presence of Anthony Davis and 39-year-old LeBron James, who has yet to decide whether to return for his 22nd NBA season, the Lakers are resetting their coaching staff rather than blaming general manager Rob Pelinka for roster construction. 

Ham took over for Frank Vogel following the 2021-22 season, and he was successful nearly immediately. Last season, the Lakers advanced to the Western Conference Finals, but the Denver Nuggets defeated them before claiming their first NBA championship. 

The Lakers are off to a tremendous start this season. They went a perfect 7-0 and won the inaugural in-season event in Las Vegas this December. James was also voted the tournament's MVP, after averaging 26.4 points and shooting almost 57% from the floor across seven games. This resulted in a banner being hoisted at Crypto.com Arena. 

Los Angeles Lakers to find replacement 

The Lakers ended the season with a 47-35 record and qualified for the play-in tournament by winning 11 of their last 14 regular-season games. The Lakers then beat the New Orleans Pelicans to go to the playoffs, their fourth appearance in the previous five seasons. However, the Nuggets defeated them 4-1 in the first series. 

Ham has two years left on his deal with the Lakers, who will be hiring their fourth head coach since LeBron James arrival in 2018. The new coach will be the Lakers' seventh in 14 seasons, after Hall of Famer Phil Jackson's resignation in 2011. 

 

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