Lakers fire their coach after just two seasons in charge

THE ANGELS.- The Los Angeles Lakers They fired coach Darvin Ham on Friday after just two seasons on the job.

The team announced on social media that they were firing Ham four days after their season ended with a first-round playoff exit in five games against Denver.

Ham led the Lakers to the Western Conference finals NBA less than a year ago, in his first season as a head coach in the league. He had replaced Frank Vogel, who was fired by Los Angeles exactly 18 months after winning the franchise's 17th championship in 2020.

With little time to capitalize on the simultaneous presence of Anthony Davis and a 39-year-old LeBron James, who has not decided whether he will return for his 22nd NBA season, the Lakers are restructuring their coaching staff once more, instead of blaming the general manager, Rob Pelinka, for the assembly of his squad.

Ham presided over a disappointing year for the Lakers, who finished 47-35 in the regular season and won the first play-in tournament in the NBA. They then beat New Orleans in a play-in game to move up to seventh place in the highly competitive Western Conference, but that meant they had to face Denver, which had swept them out of the playoffs last season. .

Everything fell apart for the Lakers:

The Lakers held the advantage over the defending champion Nuggets for long periods of their first-round series, but Nikola Jokic and his teammates finally reached the second round with a comeback series victory.

The Lakers' failure hurt because James and Davis were largely healthy all year and both superstars played more games than they had in an NBA season since 2017-18: 76 for Davis and 71 for James, the leading scorer in NBA history. D'Angelo Russell also had a solid regular season, setting the franchise record for three-pointers made.