Los Angeles Lakers Fire Head Coach Darvin Ham After Playoffs Failures

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was ousted on Friday after two seasons and two failed playoffs appearances.

Ham’s fate was sealed when he was subjected to a shouting tirade by Lakers star LeBron James for failing to challenge an out-of-bounds ball during the playoffs. James yelled at his coach for 15 seconds, pleading for a challenge, but received no action.

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The team now heads into an off-season of great uncertainty. James is still playing at a high level, but he’s 40 and nearing the end of his career. Whether he wants to play for the Lakers next season is up in the air.

Ham was ousted with two years remaining on his contract. He went 90-74 (.549) during the regular season and 9-12 (.429) in the postseason — which does not include his two play-in tournament wins — since being hired to replace Frank Vogel in 2022. His resume includes the inaugural in-season tournament title in Las Vegas in December.

The Lakers were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets for the second straight season in five games in the first round of this year’s playoffs. The Lakers lost to the Nugget in the conference finals a year ago.

“We greatly appreciate Darvin Ham’s efforts on behalf of the Lakers and recognize the many accomplishments achieved over the past two seasons including last year’s remarkable run to the Western Conference finals,” said a statement from Rob Pelinka, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager.

“We all want to thank Darvin for this dedication and positivity. While this was a difficult decision to make, it is the best course of action following a full review of the season. The organization will remain unwavering in its commitment to deliver championship-caliber basketball to Lakers fans around the world.”

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