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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Darvin Ham was once presented because the Los Angeles Lakers‘ new trainer Monday, with level guard Russell Westbrook status off to the facet in a public display of beef up for the hiring.
And Ham reciprocated that beef up proper again to Westbrook, after a tumultuous first season in Los Angeles for the previous league MVP.
“Don’t get it tousled, Russell Westbrook is likely one of the best possible gamers our league has ever observed and there’s nonetheless a ton left within the tank,” Ham mentioned. “I don’t know why other folks generally tend to check out to jot down him off.”
After buying and selling for Westbrook at the day of the 2021 NBA draft, Los Angeles skilled one of the vital disappointing seasons in franchise historical past. The Lakers went from being a preseason favourite to win the championship in accordance with Las Vegas making a bet odds to lacking the playoffs utterly, completing No. 11 within the Western Convention with a 33-49 document.
Lakers vp of basketball operations and normal supervisor Rob Pelinka joined Ham for the instance and expressed optimism within the 48-year-old Ham changing into the twenty eighth head trainer within the staff’s lifestyles.
“That is a shockingly brilliant and promising day in Laker historical past,” Pelinka mentioned.
After an eight-year NBA enjoying occupation and a stint training and dealing within the entrance place of work within the NBA developmental league, Ham were given his NBA training get started in Los Angeles as an assistant on Mike Brown’s body of workers in 2012-13.
“The truth that I were given my get started as a trainer right here, this position will all the time be particular for me,” Ham mentioned. “It’s like a homecoming for me, in all seriousness.”
After Los Angeles, Ham spent just about a decade on Mike Budenholzer‘s body of workers with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Greenbacks, successful a championship in 2021.
“As unhappy as it’s for me to be leaving Trainer Bud, every so often you were given to stroll that stroll by yourself,” Ham mentioned, getting choked up as he spoke about his former boss. “We went from colleagues, to buddies, to brothers whilst the entire whilst making historical past.”