Former Lakers Coach Darvin Ham Joins Bucks as Lead Assistant Under Doc Rivers

Former Lakers Coach Darvin Ham Joins Bucks as Lead Assistant Under Doc Rivers
Image Credit: Coach Darvin Ham

Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is returning to Milwaukee, this time as the lead assistant on Doc Rivers’ coaching staff. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Ham’s hiring marks a return to familiar territory, as he previously worked under Mike Budenholzer for nine years, with the last four years spent as the Bucks’ lead assistant. Ham also played three seasons for the Bucks during his NBA career, from 1999 to 2002.

Darvin Ham had been in discussions with the Golden State Warriors about potentially joining Steve Kerr’s coaching staff, as reported by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater in late May. Additionally, Marc Stein of The Stein Line noted that Ham declined an opportunity to rejoin Budenholzer with the Phoenix Suns.

Doc Rivers took over the Bucks’ head coaching position in January after the team dismissed Adrian Griffin just 43 games into his head coaching tenure. Initially, Rivers’ staff was a blend of holdovers such as Joe Prunty, Vin Baker, Patrick Mutombo, and Trevor Gleeson, along with new additions including Dave Joerger, Rex Kalamian, and Pete Dominguez.

In the 2022–23 NBA season, Ham’s first as head coach, he led the Lakers to a 43–39 record in the regular season and guided them to the conference finals. However, after a 47-35 season and a first-round playoff exit to the Denver Nuggets in 2024, the Lakers decided to part ways with Ham.

The Lakers are currently in the process of hiring Ham’s replacement. Their reported top choice is UConn’s title-winning coach, Dan Hurley, and the franchise is awaiting his decision.

Ham’s return to Milwaukee under Rivers is a significant addition to the Bucks’ coaching staff, as they aim to build on their recent successes and maintain their status as one of the top teams in the NBA.


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