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

Darvin Ham, previously a coach for the Lakers, has secured a new position as the top assistant to Milwaukee Bucks coach Doc Rivers. Ham, who was an assistant with the Bucks when they clinched the NBA Championship in 2021, will rejoin the team amidst the Lakers’ ongoing search for a new head coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news on Monday, announcing Ham’s return to Milwaukee. Ham’s previous tenure with the Bucks, under coach Mike Budenholzer, spanned from 2018 to 2022, including their championship-winning season in 2021. Before joining the Lakers as head coach in 2022, Ham also served under Budenholzer with the Atlanta Hawks from 2013 to 2018.

While Budenholzer, now coaching the Suns, had expressed interest in bringing Ham to Phoenix, Ham opted for the Milwaukee opportunity instead. Last month, The Athletic reported that the Golden State Warriors had also shown interest in Ham.

The Lakers dismissed Ham on May 3 after two seasons, during which he achieved a 90-74 regular-season record and a 9-12 playoff record. Under his guidance, the Lakers made it to the postseason twice, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2023. However, they were swept by the Nuggets in the conference finals and defeated again by the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs this spring.

The Lakers’ extensive search for a new head coach saw a significant development last week when it was revealed that they were targeting UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley. Despite offering Hurley a lucrative six-year, $70 million contract, he chose to remain with the Huskies, who have the potential to achieve a historic three-peat in national titles, a feat not accomplished since UCLA’s streak under Coach John Wooden from 1967 to 1973.

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