REPORTS: Lakers Badly Wanted LeBron James’ Former Teammate as Head Coach Prior to Darvin Ham’s Appointment

Published 06/04/2022, 12:12 AM EDT

Darvin Ham has been selected as the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach and is expected to take over what Frank Vogel left. While it has been a few days since the news of his appointment broke out, new information keeps coming in. Everyone has been happy with Ham’s appointment, LeBron even welcomed him with a tweet. Yet now it is revealed that he was not the primary choice for the position. 

According to NBA insider, Marc Stein, the Lakers management was interested in Juwan Howard. There were multiple reports that said Lakers management did approach Howard when they were in the process of looking for a new head coach. Yet it was he who declined the offer and preferred to stay at Michigan.  


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Juwan Howard and his Credentials

Juwan Howard is a former NBA star who played for multiple teams such as Orlando Magic, Mavericks and a few more. As a player he averaged 13.4 points per game with 2.2 assists and 6.1 rebounds. He was also part of the NBA all-star games in 1996. He even spent three years as LeBron’s teammate in Miami Heat from 2010-13. 


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The 49-YO is currently the head coach of the Michigan Wolverine Men’s Basketball team. It’s been nearly three years since he’s has been holding this position. He has managed a win-loss percentage of .656. Notably, he retired from NBA in 2013 and went ahead to hold the position of assistant coach for the Miami Heat from 2013-19. 

Why was Howard considered by the Lakers?


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Since firing Frank Vogel, Lakers’ management was well aware that they will need different blood to guide the team. Lakers being a star-studded team required a head coach who would be taken seriously by the players. Yet they needed someone who could understand the players and push them when needed. 

USA Today via Reuters

Howard as a player and a coach has proved his worth. He has enough experience to figure out what is needed and when. He also share a good relationship with LeBron James and Lakers’ vice president Rob Pelinka. The management didn’t presented him with an official letter, yet he had high chance of being selected had he shown any interests. The former Miami star chose to pass on the option and stay at Michigan.


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What is done is done and today’s reality is that Darvin Ham would be the head coach for Lakers. Let’s see how that turn out.  



Rishabh Gupta

82 articles

Rishabh is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports. He has past experience of writing for a business political magazine and handling a news division for a startup. He completed his graduation in Bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from Vivekanand Institute of Professional Studies and has a keen interest in sports journalism.