The Los Angeles Lakers hired Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham last week to serve as the team’s new head coach.
Ham most recently worked as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, but between 2011 and 2013 he spent two years with the Lakers.
During that time, Ham crossed paths with Kobe Bryant.
And he definitely left an impact.
Specifically, Bryant loved how physical Ham could be. The Lakers legend went as far to say: “I love that. That helped my game.”
“[Kobe and Darvin] had daily sessions after practice. Because Darvin was a physical player, he’s a physical coach. Kobe said, ‘I love that. That helped my game.’”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 4, 2022
Fans reacted immediately to the newfound connection between arguably the most beloved player in purple and gold history (it’s between Bryant and Magic Johnson) and their new head coach.
The responses spoke for themselves:
If Coach Ham has Kobe’s approval, there’s no way he’s going to fail
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) June 4, 2022
Yall wanna be like us so bad but sadly Ham is not Him
— ⑦⑦⑦ (@JaylenPls) June 4, 2022
— vaughn hardenberg (@vaughnhardenbe1) June 5, 2022
Bet… if the mamba say he good im good https://t.co/HJoxZRBk5B
— jefe (@ThouArtABOSS) June 5, 2022
Y’all sure hyping this man up, I hope he follow through https://t.co/g2fzn6z5W2
— lil willy (@uglywillo) June 5, 2022
— Montana354 (@ToneMontana354) June 5, 2022
The Lakers went 33-49 last year and missed the postseason altogether.
Ham will have a lot of work to do.
The big question ahead of him is what will happen to Russell Westbrook – who doesn’t seem particularly excited about his new head coach.
If L.A. trades him to any of the four teams willing to accept him in a trade, Ham can start anew. Clean slate.
Future’s role in Lori Harvey breaking up with Michael B. Jordan. https://t.co/rhuG5SyMvl
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 5, 2022
But if the Lakers are forced to retain Westbrook, Ham will need to get creative and accomplish with him what Frank Vogel could not.
Will Ham ultimately be able to live up to the lofty expectations that a commendation from Bryant sets?
Time will tell.