NBA: Report: Darvin Ham returning to Bucks as top assistant

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Fired Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is returning to the Milwaukee Bucks as the top assistant coach on Doc Rivers’ staff, ESPN reported Monday.

Ham, 50, spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach, including four with the Bucks, before the Lakers gave him his first head coaching job ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The Lakers dismissed him May 3 after two seasons, a 90-74 regular-season record and a pair of trips to the playoffs.

The Lakers finished the regular season with a 47-35 mark, good enough for an eighth-place finish in the Western Conference. They defeated the New Orleans Pelicans in the play-in round to earn the No. 7 seed in the playoffs but were bounced in five games by the Denver Nuggets in the opening round.

The Nuggets also defeated the Lakers last season in the conference finals on the way to their first NBA title.

In Milwaukee, the Bucks fired first-year coach Adrian Griffin on Jan. 23 despite having the second-best record (30-13) in the Eastern Conference. At the time, ESPN reported the Bucks wanted to upgrade to a veteran coach who they thought could have a better shot of leading the Bucks to another NBA title.

Enter Rivers, who coached the Boston Celtics to an NBA championship in 2007-08 and had a record of 1,097-763 (.590) with four teams at the time of his hiring.

Rivers was 17-19 with the Bucks, who earned the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference but were eliminated by the No. 6 Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.

–Field Level Media

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