Jeanie Buss Speaks on Hiring Darvin Ham: ‘I’m a Big Believer’

Jeanie Buss Speaks on Hiring Darvin Ham: 'I'm a Big Believer'

Jeanie Buss and the Lakers are heading into a pressure-filled season after failing to make the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons.

Last season, the Lakers (33-49) finished 11th in the Western Conference. The Lakers roster was, on average, 30.0 years old, the oldest in the League, and was led by LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Davis and James missed pockets of times with various injuries, particularly Davis, who came under fire for his relative lack of availability throughout this season and his entire Lakers tenure.

The first move the Lakers made this offseason was to fire former coach Frank Vogel and then hire longtime assistant coach Darvin Ham. Ham will be tasked with flipping the Lakers around into a defensive juggernaut and helping Westbrook turn his Lakers career around after the 2017 MVP failed to live up to Lakers standards last year. Ham, in particular, has publicly stated he believes Westbrook “has a ton left in the tank” and that he has a plan on how to get the best out of Westbrook.

“Absolutely,” Buss said when asked if she liked the Lakers’ move to hire in Ham. “I’m a big believer in Darvin Ham. When you’re at the Board of Governors meetings and governors say to you, ‘We interviewed your guy; you got a great coach.’ Or, ‘He worked for us; you got a great guy.’ His reputation around the League brings me a lot of pride to hear other people say how much they admire him. We got a really good coach.”

Buss also talked about the Lakers’ offseason execution, missing Kobe Bryant, and her relationships with Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson in her Q&A with NBA.com.

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