Lakers HC Darvin Ham’s future could be decided after LeBron James’ tantrum

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham’s days are numbered after LeBron’s outburst.
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Darvin Ham
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Darvin Ham / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers finally broke through and defeated the defending champion Nuggets on Saturday night. They had lost 11 straight, including getting swept in the conference finals in 2023. It took an incredible performance from LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell bouncing back and hitting shots after a rough stretch. It was an impressive win that gives LA the slightest bit of hope in this series.

No NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Only four times have they come back to force a Game 7. The Lakers are in trouble and will likely be eliminated this week. It could happen as soon as Monday evening in Game 5. LA struggles against Denver and is unlikely to score 119 every time out.

Much has been made about Darvin Ham’s coaching in this series. He has been slow to adjust, unable to find the right rotations, and struggles to keep his offense rolling. Anthony Davis called out his coach after Game 2. He is not the only one as LeBron’s frustrations bubbled to the surface in Game 4.

LeBron James loses it as Darvin Ham refuses to challenge in Game 4

With just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, LeBron attempted to knock the ball out of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s hands but never touched it. KCP lost the ball out of bounds, but the referees ruled it was last touched by King James. LeBron wanted Darvin Ham to challenge, but the head coach refused. Fans can see the superstar’s reaction below.

To make matters worse, Dever inbounded the ball and Jamal Murray got an easy bucket as LeBron was arguing. It ultimately did not impact the final result, but it was a clear sign of King James’ frustration. He is not happy his team is down 3-0, and there are plenty of reasons why. Darvin Ham deserves some of that blame as does LeBron.

Does LeBron’s outburst mean Darvin Ham is gone after the season?

Having both star players frustrated at the head coach is never a way to win. LeBron James has a player option for the 2024-25 season. He is unlikely to decline it but holds plenty of leverage. If James wants the Lakers to make a coaching change, the franchise must keep their superstar happy.

Darvin Ham’s hesitancy has cost the Lakers multiple times in this series. Whether it is not challenging a call or being slow to call timeout as Denver makes a run, LA needs him to be better if they are going to win Game 5 in the Mile High City to extend the series. Fans have been frustrated for months. Does the front office believe he is still the right person for the job?

Ham is certainly on the hot seat. Do the Los Angeles Lakers make a change after the season? It could depend largely on Monday night’s Game 5. If LA goes down, Ham may be gone. LeBron’s outburst on Saturday night could be just another sign that the head coach’s days are numbered in LA.