Latest Lakers rumors are the most damning for Darvin Ham yet

Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

There has been a very consistent trend for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Despite having the talent to be a title contender and getting mostly healthy seasons from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers find themselves embroiled in the Play-In Tournament.

Granted, part of the reason for this reality is the fact that the Western Conference is loaded with talent this season. But the biggest part of the equation has been the lack of good coaching. Darvin Ham has proven that he is not the right man to pilot a team with title hopes.

Ham has shown an immense misunderstanding of how an NBA rotation should look and was not even willing to take accountability when he was so obviously wrong. Even with that evidence that he was in the wrong, Ham still reached a new low point against the Golden State Warriors earlier this week that cemented LA in the play-in.

There has been a lot of negativity around Ham this season and all of it is justified. The most recent reports, though, are perhaps the most damning. According to Hoops Wire's sources, players in the Lakers locker room were already circling Ham's replacement: assistant coach Phil Handy.

"A source told Hoops Wire that Lakers players wanted assistant coach Phil Handy to replace Ham earlier in the season. However, Los Angeles owner Jeanie Buss is a fan of Ham and she has never thought about firing him as coach, the source said. "

Latest Lakers rumors only prove Darvin Ham has lost the locker room

There was a report by Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic earlier this season that there was a growing disconnect between Ham and the locker room. While nothing came of that as the Lakers turned the ship around, these new reports only confirm that reality.

The fact that the players not only wanted Ham to be fired but were already thinking about who could replace him is a terrible sign. Nobody in that locker room is going to respect Ham or listen to what he has to say as a head coach. This completely undermines him and makes his role with the team useless.

At this point, Ham is actively hurting the team without adding much value. If he was a lineup genius that knew how to push all the right buttons during the game then there would at least be some value. But as currently constructed, Ham is the one lone factor holding this team back.

If the Lakers fall short of making the NBA Finals (which is the most likely outcome by a mile) then this season will be remembered as the year Darvin Ham killed the Lakers' goals.