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Los Angeles Lakers give new coach Darvin Ham freedoms Frank Vogel did not have

Jason Burgos
los angeles lakers, darvin ham
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A new report claims the Los Angeles Lakers are giving new head coach Davin Ham autonomy that was not afforded to their former head coach Frank Vogel.

While it has not been made official by the organization or Ham, various reports last week confirmed that the long-time assistant coach has been offered the opportunity to be the franchise’s next head coach. This will be Darvin Ham’s first opportunity in such a role in the NBA after 10 years as an assistant for the Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, and most recently the Milwaukee Bucks.

Often times new lead coaches don’t necessarily get the same level of power and leeway as more established contemporaries. Frank Vogel, who previously had a strong run as the top coach for the Indiana Pacers had to make several concessions to land the gig with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Los Angeles Lakers will not have a say in Darvin Ham’s coaching staff

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Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The organization reportedly insisted that Vogel hire Jason Kidd as an assistant coach and Kurt Rambis, a member of the team’s front office, often was in attendance for coaching staff meetings. However, it seems that first-time head coach Ham will not have to deal with similar circumstances. According to veteran NBA insider Marc Stein, Ham will be given far more freedom and autonomy than his predecessor.

“According to the buzz in NBA coaching circles over the weekend, Ham has likewise been promised the autonomy to pick his coaching staff and is said to have received assurances that Lakers senior advisor Kurt Rambis will not be a regular presence in coaching meetings like he was with Vogel,” Stein wrote on his Substack page. “If those promises come to fruition and Ham actually receives all that latitude, they will rank as significant concessions secured by a first-time NBA head coach.”

Ham will have a tall task in front of him. He will be expected to help the team bounce back in a major way after missing the NBA playoffs in 2021-2022. And the 48-year-old will also have to find a way to reignite the career of Russell Westbrook and try to bring synergy between him and fellow superstars Lebron James and Anthony Davis.