Darvin Ham introduced as the Lakers head coach with Westbrook in attendance

2022-06-07 07:39
Credit: AP-Scanpix
Credit AP-Scanpix

The Los Angeles Lakers introduced their new head coach Darvin Ham on Mondy. Russell Westbrook was also in attendance to show support and appreciation for the new hiring.

Ham was supportive of the former MVP Westbrook as well, saying that he's still one of the best players in the league.

"Don't get it messed up: Russell Westbrook is one of the best players our league has ever seen, and there's still a ton left in the tank," Ham said. "I don't know why people tend to try to write him off."

LeBron James

LeBron  James
LeBron  James
MIN: 37.22
PTS: 30.27 (57.42%)
REB: 8.23
As: 6.23
ST: 1.3
BL: 1.05
TO: 3.5
GM: 56

The Lakers have just experienced one of the worst seasons in the entire franchise history.

In the preseason Lakers were thought of as one of the main contenders to win the title after the superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis welcomed another superstar in Westbrook, but ultimately the team finished the season with a record of 33-49 and missed not only the playoffs but also the play-in tournament, finishing the regular season just 11th in the Western Conference.

Ham revealed some of the details that he and Westbrook have talked about already. 

"Russ and I had some really, really great one-on-one convos, man, and the biggest word I think that came out of that, those discussions, was 'sacrifice,'" Ham said.

Ham also shared his ideas on what he will expect from Westbrook: "I'm going to expect him to be the same tenacious, high-energy player that he's been all his entire career."

"A lot of that now may have him without the ball in his hand. Most of it now may have it on the defensive end," Ham shared the details.

Ham again emphasized sacrifice: "But again, we have to sacrifice. There's no achieving anything without all parties sharing the load, sacrificing, instead of one-on-one."

Lakers general manager and vice president of basketball operations Robert Pelibnka was excited to have 48-year-old Ham on board. 

"This is an incredibly bright and promising day in Laker history," Pelinka said.

Pelinka added that Ham was the unanimous choice by the team's hiring committee and was really optimistic about the hiring.

"I'm just incredibly proud to be able to sit next to him, for what he stands for, as a man, as a coach, as a dad and a husband," Pelinka said. "And to arm together to lead this franchise to the next chapter," Pelinka added.

Pelinka said that it was Ham's tough personality that was a big reason for the hiring and that he thinks it should help fill in an area in which the Lakers lacked last season under coach Frank Vogel.

"I think one of the things we lacked last year was an identity of toughness," Pelinka said. "And I think we are excited to see Coach with his leadership style will bring those attributes to our team next year," Pelinka concluded.

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