The Los Angeles Lakers are four preseason games into the 2023-24 season and things have looked excellent thus far. Despite the 2-2 record, fans are extremely happy and excited with the product that the Lakers have put on the floor.
Thus far fans know who four of the five starters are going to be during the regular season. D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves will join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the starting lineup. That was a given before the preseason and Ham confirmed it.
That fifth starting spot has been up in the air. Ham has continuously said that he has an idea of who it will be but has not committed to giving an answer. He has even assured fans that it won’t be a rotating job and that there will be one player who locks the spot down.
After seeing Taurean Prince start on Friday night with Rui Hachimura on the bench and Jarred Vanderbilt hurt, it seemed like fans were finally going to get their answer. However, Ham continued to commit to his non-committal approach, frustrating fans in the process.
Darvin Ham frustrates Lakers fans, doesn’t commit to fifth Lakers starter
Lakers fans will get their answer soon enough when the team opens the regular season on October 24 against the Denver Nuggets. That being said, it is totally reasonable for the fanbase to be frustrated (in a good way) with not having an answer yet.
Like a kid on Christmas who has to wait for their parents to wake up to open presents, Lakers fans just want to dive into the season and know everything about this team. That fifth starter is the big wrapped present under the tree. Is it a bicycle? An Xbox? Tickets to the next Lakers game? The anticipation is devastating.
Regardless of who it is, it is really hard for Ham to make the wrong choice. The trio of Prince, Hachimura and Vanderbilt are all talented and all bring something different to the table. Hachimura is the best scorer of the bunch while Vanderbilt is the best defender. Prince is the best hybrid of the two, providing a true two-way presence when he is on the court.
Ham knows that he is picking between great choices and he knows just how much the fanbase is striving for a concrete answer. At this point, he seems to be humoring himself and the locker room with his non-committal approach.
If anything, this is a great sign of where the Lake Show is. Last year there was legitimate frustration with the fanbase and the product on the court. This year, the frustration is tongue-in-cheek and is a great sign of where the team is.