The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the winningest, wealthiest, and most popular franchises in the NBA. But they didn't look like one last season. The Purple and Gold finished 11th in the West, which was not enough to at least make the play-in tournament.
Hopefully, Darvin Ham will get them back on their feet. The former Milwaukee Bucks assistant has a challenging job ahead of him in trying to fix a team that left a lot to be desired in the 2021-22 campaign.
However, Ham made clear from the very beginning how highly he thinks of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Even so, he let everyone know that he'll expect accountability from each and every member of the roster, including the three veteran stars.
Darvin Ham warns LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook to be accountable
“Competitiveness, togetherness, and accountability,” Ham told ESPN's Malika Andrews. “That’s going to be our mantra: competitiveness, togetherness, and accountability. That toughness everyone has been throwing around attached to my name, well that’s just being competitive. Being competitive you’ve got to be tough-minded, you have to be tough physically. Togetherness — it’s a team sport. We can’t have each other be out on an island…
“Accountability, when we set this standard, we watch film, I have to be able to get on LeBron, get on Russ, get on AD, just like when I’m ready to get on Austin Reaves and Stanley Johnsons and the likes," Ham added. "It’s that accountability top to bottom, even as coaches, holding myself accountable... Regardless of the sport you're gonna find those three ingredients."
Accountability is one of the many things the Lakers lacked last season. To see the new coach identify it so quickly should give Lakers fans at least a bit of hope. While the core of the roster could be the same next season, by changing these kinds of aspects Ham could get a much better version of the same players.