New Lakers Coach Ham Professes 'Sacrifice' To Unify Big Three
NBA star Russell Westbrook — Photo by ChinaImages

New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham says sacrifice is a major key to unifying the side after their disastrous 2021-22 campaign.

A key remit in the 48-year-old former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach’s mandate will be getting cohesion between the Lakers Big Three LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

James had an outstanding individual 2021-22 season, scoring 30.3 points per game with 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists, but the veteran was restricted to 56 games.

Davis struggled with injuries, only playing 40 games, while Westbrook was brought in 12 months ago as a major trade acquisition expected to help the Lakers towards a title, yet he battled to make an impact, averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game.

“Russ and I had some really, really great one-on-one convos, and the biggest word I think that came out of that, those discussions, was ‘sacrifice,’” Ham told reporters upon his unveiling on Monday.

“I’m going to expect him to be the same tenacious, high-energy player that he’s been all his entire career. A lot of that now may have him without the ball in his hand.

“Most of it now may have it on the defensive end. But again, we have to sacrifice.

“There’s no achieving anything without all parties sharing the load, sacrificing, instead of one-on-one.”

The Lakers 2021-22 campaign was a major disappointment, finishing with a 33-49 record and missing the playoffs, ending up 11th in the Western Conference.

Ham said rebuilding the side’s defence would be a key part of their development under him.

“Defensively is where you’re going to see our biggest leaps and bounds,” Ham said. “We have to commit to the defensive side of the ball or we don’t have a chance.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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