Darvin Ham: From LeBron James’ Lakers to Kevin Durant’s Suns?


After working with LeBron James for two years as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham reportedly received an offer to work with Kevin Durant at the Phoenix Suns.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James
© Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesKevin Durant and LeBron James

Darvin Ham He may have been fired by the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, but it appears his stock is still high enough to offer him other job opportunities in the US N.B.A. In fact the Phoenix suns were reportedly open to having Ham on board.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein: Mike Budenholzer tried to add the former Lakers head coach to his staff ahead of his first season leading the Suns, but Ham rejected the offer:

“League sources say Budenholzer attempted to convince Darvin Ham to join his staff in Phoenix, but Ham – fired as Lakers coach on May 3 – allegedly did so. understandably over after two demanding seasons in Lakerland. The Suns responded by asking David Fizdale, from Vogel’s staff, to stay on as an assistant coach on Budenholzer’s new staff after initially offering him a front office role.

This would have seen Ham working with people like Kevin Durant and Devin Booker just a few months after making a roster led by Le Bron James. However, we will have to wait a minute to see what’s next for the 50-year-old.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham reacts as his team plays the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter during game two of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 22, 2024 in Denver, Colorado.

How Ham has fared since he said goodbye to Budenholzer

Budenholzer took Ham under his wing for years, with the Saginaw native serving as an assistant for Mike between 2013 and 2018 with the Atlanta Hawks and also with the Milwaukee Bucks 2018 to 2022.

While their last stint together resulted in an NBA championship in 2021, Ham decided to do just that take on a new challenge with the Lakers in 2022. His rookie year as head coach resulted in a Conference Finals sweep by the Nuggets, who also defeated the Lakers in 2024, but this time it was in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite a deep playoff run in 2023, the Lakers struggled for consistency for two years under Ham’s watch. That’s why the franchise is now looking for a change with LeBron James’ future uncertain. Ultimately, Ham’s first experience as a head coach resulted in one 90-74 record over two seasons.

Ham has reportedly spoken to Warriors

In addition to getting the opportunity to coach Durant, Ham could have gone from working with LeBron to coaching Stephen Curry. According to Anthony Slater of The Athleticsthe Warriors of the Golden State however, held discussions with Ham about an assistant role without much progress:

“The Warriors had conversations with former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham in recent weeks, according to league sources. The expectation is that that will not happen. But it is a signal of the Warriors’ desire to add a big-name assistant, and indications are that they are looking for a former head coach or former player to fill the role. If Atkinson leaves, they could add two assistant coaches. It continues to be a fluid time across the league in the coaching world.”

These recent rumors linking Ham to positions on NBA teams with other superstars suggest the former Lakers HC should be a name to watch this summer.