June 23, 2024

Darvin Ham joining Bucks as lead assistant coach: Source


The Milwaukee Bucks are adding Darvin Ham as the lead assistant coach on Doc Rivers’ staff, a team source confirmed Monday. Ham is returning to Milwaukee where he was an assistant coach from 2018 to 2022. During Ham’s first stint with the Bucks, the team won an NBA championship in 2021, the franchise’s second title and their first since 1971.

ESPN was the first to report the news of Ham joining Milwaukee.

Ham, 50, spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers fired Ham on May 3, after they were eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Denver Nuggets.

Rumors over Ham’s potential firing intensified deep into the Lakers’ season and seemed inevitable when they only won one game in their best-of-seven playoff series against the Nuggets. The lowest moment came for the Lakers when they blew a 20-point second-half lead in Game 2 of the series.

During Ham’s two-year tenure, the Lakers went 90-74 in the regular season and 9-12 in the postseason.

Ham was also an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks from 2013 to 2018 after playing in the NBA from 1996 to 2005. He won an NBA championship coming off the bench for the Detroit Pistons in 2004.

The Bucks finished 49-33 during the 2023-24 season. Milwaukee lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Indiana Pacers in six games. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two-time NBA MVP, was sidelined for the entire Pacers series with a calf injury.

The Bucks have made the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons, with the highlight being their 2021 championship year when Ham was the lead assistant coach on Mike Budenholzer’s staff. Ham was beloved by players during his time as an assistant under Budenholzer.

Players appreciated Ham’s outgoing personality but noted that he was the type of coach unafraid to have tough conversations or let players hear about it when they weren’t playing up to the coaching staff’s standards.

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(Photo: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)



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