Darvin Ham Signals His Departure After Final Lakers Loss

The Los Angeles Lakers head coach hints at his departure following the Game 5 Loss to the Nuggets.
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers' season is officially over. Despite putting in a valiant effort against the reigning champions Denver Nuggets, LeBron James & Co. are going home early after falling to yet another Jamal Murray game-winner on Monday night.

Now, it's time for difficult decisions about the future of the franchise. One of the biggest decisions will be regarding who the head coach will be going forward.

Darvin Ham, who has been the head coach for the past two seasons, has received plenty of criticism ever since he took the job. A regular scapegoat among Lakers fans, Ham is widely expected to leave in the offseason.

After the loss on Monday night, Ham signaled that he may have coached his last game for the Lakers.

Lakers HC Darvin Ham Signals the End of His Tenure

Calling his Lakers tenure "a hell of a two years", Ham's words can easily be interpreted as goodbye.

At this point, it would be a major surprise if owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka brought back the 50-year-old head coach. They would likely have to do it just to save face and deflect criticism to them.

Because at the end of the day, it was this front office who built this roster, not Ham. In his first season, they gave Ham an ill-fitting roster with Russell Westbrook surrounding James and Anthony Davis. Once they pulled off the mid-season trade to move on from Westbrook, the team went on a run and made it all the way to the Conference Finals.

This season, the front office failed to make any significant additions to the roster. And unsurprisingly, the Lakers were overmatched against the reigning champs once again.

The grass is not always greener on the other side. Coaching changes don't always work the way fans hope. Just look at the Milwaukee Bucks' 2023-24 season. Ham didn't exactly cover himself in glory this season, but there is no guarantee that a new head coach can take this flawed roster to the next level.

Yet, it's obviously the time to move on for both sides as this relationship seems too strained to be salvaged at this point.

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