The Los Angeles Lakers came into the 2023-24 NBA season with a lot of hype. Last year’s run to the Western Conference Finals made a lot of people view L.A. as a legitimate title contender.
Unfortunately, 35 games into the season, the Lakers have struggled mightily. Worse yet – head coach Darvin Ham appears to be losing the locker room.
Between his bizarre ongoing beef with Austin Reaves and his decision to bench D’Angelo Russell alienating half the roster, it has been one problem after another for him.
This week, a group of names were floated as potential replacements for Ham.
The most notable name linked to L.A. in recent days has been Doc Rivers. After parting ways with the Philadelphia 76ers this past summer, he has been working broadcasts with ESPN. That said, his championship pedigree and reputation make him a logical candidate to replace Ham.
“This is probably how it’s gonna play out,” Bill Simmons said about the Lakers this week.
“They’ll probably get rid of Darvin Ham. … My biggest fear is they change coaches, and all of a sudden, Doc Rivers is the Lakers coach, and then I lose Doc Rivers, who has been really great on my podcast all season.”
The other big name linked to the Lakers in recent days has been Kenny Atkinson. He has a unique history with D’Angelo Russell and a reputation for at times overperforming with relatively meager talent. In 2022 he won a championship as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors.
Obviously it isn’t a lock that the Lakers will fire Ham. They are also being linked to some pretty big trades.
Commanders Cheerleader’s Wild Photos Go Viral After 49ers Loss: https://t.co/V54N1goF3b
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 5, 2024
If one of those comes to fruition and then works out – maybe L.A. will turn its season around.
After all, that is precisely what happened last year.
If the Lakers don’t solve their issues quickly, though – Rivers or Atkinson replacing Ham could make a whole lot of sense.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.