Magic Johnson 'happy' Darvin Ham back with Milwaukee Bucks as Doc Rivers' top assistant coach

It ultimately didn't work out for Darvin Ham as the Los Angeles Lakers' head coach.

Now, he's back in Milwaukee where he played a key role as an assistant for the 2021 NBA champion Bucks.

And Lakers legend Magic Johnson gives his stamp of approval on Doc Rivers' decision to hire Ham as the Bucks' lead assistant coach.

"I’m so happy that my friend and Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Doc Rivers has named former Lakers Head Coach Darvin Ham as his new Top Assistant!" Johnson, a five-time NBA champion and former president of basketball operations for the Lakers, tweeted on Tuesday.

Darvin Ham fired as Lakers head coach after two seasons

Ham was fired as the Lakers head coach after just two seasons last month. It was the 50-year-old's first head coaching job after years as an assistant, including with the Bucks for five years.

The Lakers were 90-74 in his two seasons at the helm. The Lakers needed to earn their way into the playoff field from the play-in tournament both seasons.

The Lakers had a noteworthy run to the Western Conference finals in 2023 before being swept by the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets. Then, they fell in five games to the Nuggets in the first round this past season.

Bobby Portis credits Darvin Ham for Bucks previous success

Johnson likely isn't the only one who is happy for the Bucks as Rivers reshapes the coaching staff.

Bucks forward Bobby Portis made it known on social media last offseason after the Bucks were eliminated in the first round of the 2023 playoffs that Ham's departure was a bigger loss than people realized.

"Only thing hurt us was D ham leaving," Portis wrote. "That ain’t talked about enough."

Besides being an assistant coach for the Bucks from 2018-22, Ham played for the team in 1999-2002. This included the team's run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2001 where he played alongside Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Magic Johnson has message for ex-Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham