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Ham confirmed as Lakers coach: statement

Darvin Ham was formally confirmed as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, the team announced in a statement.

Ham, an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks, joins the franchise on a multiyear deal, the team said.

The 48-year-old Ham was a key assistant to Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer during Milwaukee’s NBA championship-winning 2021 campaign.

He replaces Frank Vogel, who was fired in April after the Lakers’ disastrous season that saw the 2020 champions fail to reach the playoffs.

Ham’s appointment had been widely expected, with reports last month saying he had agreed a four-year deal.

Lakers star LeBron James had already congratulated Ham via social media, writing: “So damn EXCITED!!!!”

Lakers president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said Friday Ham would bring a “no-nonsense” approach to the franchise, citing his steady rise through the coaching ranks from developmental league to elite level.

“When someone begins his NBA coaching career at the G League level and goes all the way through playing an integral role on the front bench of an NBA Championship team, it really speaks to a certain strength of character,” Pelinka said.

“Our players and fans will immediately identify with Darvin’s no-nonsense and hard-working approach, which we feel will bring a toughness and a competitive edge to all we do.

“We could not be more honored and proud to name Darvin Ham as our new head coach.”

Ham takes over a Lakers team in disarray after a 33-49 season. 

The Lakers had been tipped as championship contenders after acquiring Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade last year, but the move was widely seen as a failure.

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