1 Coach Lakers Really Wanted Before Settling For Darvin Ham

1 Coach Lakers Really Wanted Before Settling For Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers came into last season with championship aspirations.

When it was all said and done, the team couldn’t even qualify for the playoffs.

The first head to get lopped off for that was then-head coach Frank Vogel’s. Between his issues with Russell Westbrook and the general lack of respect he commanded, he was an easy fall guy.

From there L.A. embarked on a lengthy search for Vogel’s replacement – culminating in the hire of former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham.

But Ham wasn’t the Lakers’ first choice.

As reported by NBA insider Marc Stein, the front office’s preference was Michigan head coach Juwan Howard. Unfortunately, they simply could not lure him away.

“The Lakers, I’m told, made such strong overtures to Howard that the implication was clear: The job was his if he wanted it,” Stein wrote.

“As covered here on May 2, Howard made it clear in turn throughout the Lakers’ 47-day search that — despite his long associations with both James and Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka — he had no interest in leaving behind the college game at Michigan and the opportunity to coach sons Jace and Jett next season.”

In addition to Howard, the Lakers also had their eye on two very prominent NBA head coaches – only to be spurned by them as well.

It appears the appeal of coaching the purple and gold isn’t what it once was.

Ham could turn out to be a fantastic coach. Time will tell.

But the fact that the Lakers had so much trouble getting any of the candidates they actually wanted to sign on is a disturbing sign regarding where the franchise presently stands in many people’s eyes.

Related: Steve Kerr Names 1 ‘Irreplaceable’ Player Warriors Can’t Lose

Jennifer Withers Hoey

Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.
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