Lakers News: Metta Sandiford-Artest Offers High Praise For Darvin Ham

After a long and thorough process, the Los Angeles Lakers finally made a decision as they have reportedly hired Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to become their next head coach.

Ham was always the most logical choice for the Lakers as he has previous experience working with the franchise as an assistant under former head coach Mike Brown, as well as championships as both a player and assistant coach. The 48-year-old is well-regarded around the league for his basketball acumen and ability to communicate, two traits that had to have impressed Los Angeles’ decision-makers during interviews.

Metta Sandiford-Artest worked with Ham during his time with the Lakers and the former forward spoke about what characteristics about him stood out, via Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of L.A. Times:

“He was working hard, working all the players out, worked me out,” Sandiford-Artest said. “He worked out everybody. He was involved heavy and was very direct; very, very direct, which I really loved.

“… He definitely understands modern basketball. He also is capable of communicating in a way where you can receive it the right way. He’s definitely a presence, but he also has a communication about him that is, I’m not going to say soft, but you understand that he has your best interest at heart.”

Several other people have echoed Sandiford-Artest’s notes about Ham, which speaks to the equity he has among his peers in the league. Communication is key for a Lakers roster led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, so being able to hold stars and role players alike accountable will go a long way in ensuring team success.

The modern basketball comment from Sandiford-Artest also aligns with reports that Ham displayed a deep understanding of X’s and O’s in interviews, another key area for the Lakers. During the 2021-22 campaign, there were too many stretches of games where it looked like they were not sure what they should be doing on either end. Hiring Ham seems like it would fix those issues on paper, but no one will truly know until the new season begins.

Darvin Ham will autonomy picking his coaching staff

Previous head coach Frank Vogel got the short end of the stick when he accepted the Lakers job as he was shoehorned into some of his assistants. However, that will reportedly not be the case for Ham, who will apparently have autonomy when it comes to building out his coaching staff.

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Lakers News: Metta Sandiford-Artest Offers High Praise For Darvin Ham