The Los Angeles Lakers fired Frank Vogel after a disappointing 2021-22 season for not being able to figure out the Russell Westbrook situation. It was a brash move at the time, and seems even worse now as his replacement, Darvin Ham, has completely lost the fanbase.
Ham led the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals last season but the 2023-24 season has not been favorable to the second-year head coach in the slightest. Ham has exhibited no real feel for this roster or the rotation and has not put his players in a position to succeed. The team enters the 2024 calendar year with a .500 record, which is just three games better than the team was at this point last season.
If Ham cannot turn this ship around then he too could be getting the boot after the season. Making this reality even more painful is the fact that Ham was a bit of a surprise hire, and the team could have hired several better head coaches.
The Lakers could have hired Quin Snyder
Most fans thought that the Lakers were either going to hire Doc Rivers or Quin Snyder. Rivers never became available and Snyder ultimately was hired by the Atlanta Hawks halfway through the 2022-23 season after consulting Ham early on in the 22-23 season.
Synder's tenure with the Hawks has not been great but that team has bigger issues that extend beyond Synder. It is similar to Vogel, where it was not his fault that the front office saddled him with no depth and a former MVP who was destructive to the locker room.
Snyder is a long-time head coach who has plenty of experience in the playoffs and knows what it takes to get a team there. Better yet, he would not have been this new, first-time head coach who is trying to be creative and innovative with his decisions only to throw out awful rotations.
If anything, Synder would have been a good coach that could focus on what he is good at, and let LeBron James have his obvious influence on the team. After all, that is what made Vogel such a good fit with LeBron.