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After a disastrous 2021-22 season, the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans are feeling a bit of hope now that it has been reported the team has hired Darvin Ham to be its next head coach.
Ham is regarded around the league as a strong communicator, a solid leader and someone who has a firm grasp of the strategic aspect of basketball.
He has been an assistant coach for several years, most recently with the Milwaukee Bucks over the last four seasons. But he started his coaching career with the Lakers in the 2011-12 season, when Metta World Peace (now Metta Sandiford-Artest) was still wearing the Purple and Gold.
Sandiford-Artest talked about what the Lakers can expect from their new bench leader.
Via Lakers Daily:
“Sandiford-Artest explained to the Los Angeles Times how Ham always has his players’ best interests at heart, which will certainly be important for the Lakers in the 2022-23 season.
“‘He was working hard, working all the players out, worked me out,’ Sandiford-Artest said regarding the impact Ham made as a Lakers assistant many years ago. ‘He worked out everybody. He was involved heavy and was very direct; very, very direct, which I really loved.’
“‘… He definitely understands modern basketball. He also is capable of communicating in a way where you can receive it the right way. He’s definitely a presence, but he also has a communication about him that is, I’m not going to say soft, but you understand that he has your best interest at heart.'”
Sandiford-Artest isn’t the only one who has worked with Ham who is predicting good things for him and the Lakers.
Chauncey Billups, who played with Ham on the 2004 NBA champion Detroit Pistons, also sung his praises after he was hired by L.A.