The Los Angeles Lakers are known for having a deep supporting cast around their head coach. Under former head coach Frank Vogel, the staff included former head coaches like Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins and David Fizdale.
A similar formula was used here with new head coach Darvin Ham. With the only returning staff being Phil Handy, the criteria for surrounding Ham with staff who believe in their team philosophy has led the Lakers to bring in assistant coaches who can preach the system and tenacity that Ham wants to create the next season.
One of the key assistant coaching hires was former Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Jordan Ott, who was known as the offensive coordinator for an offense featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Ott is currently coaching the Lakers Summer League team in Las Vegas and gaining experience implementing the Ham system and building relationships with the youngsters who rock the Purple & Gold.
After a 104-84 loss to the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 in Las Vegas, Ott was asked why he decided to join Ham’s staff this season with a Lakers team that needs to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
“So I’ve known Darvin for nine years now and just his ability to relate to everybody, no matter who you are, he relates to everybody,” Ott said. “He brings joy and spirit to work every day. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Work with him to try to find solutions. I try to be here to improve his work every day. Tonight I feel bad because we were disappointed to have only 11 assists, but that’s something the head coach is obviously watching. We didn’t share the ball enough tonight, but I’m so thankful he brought us together here. We will do whatever it takes to help achieve success.
The Lakers appreciated the previous experience and relationship with Ham to be one of his assistants. New senior assistant Chris Jent also shares previous training experience with Ham similar to Ott. This is an Atlanta Hawks reunion with the three coaches sharing a working relationship with the team coached by Mike Budenholzer several years ago.
A can-do attitude like Ott’s completes the vision Ham has for the Lakers’ new look next season. In order to change the tone of last season, the team had to start with the leaders on the touchline to set up the new team spirit.
Darvin Ham’s pitch to the Lakers was based on three words
The interview process that took place in the spring for the position of head coach of the Lakers has narrowed down to three candidates. Terry Stats and Kenny Atkinson were candidates with head coaching experience, but Ham was the rookie of the bunch.
Needing to stand out to get hired for the Lakers head coaching gig, Ham based his hiring speech on three words he believes will help the Lakers succeed next season: competitiveness, solidarity and responsibility.
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