Ham is inheriting a roster full of borderline rotation players, a disgruntled Russell Westbrook, an aging LeBron James, and an injury-riddled Anthony Davis. All to compete in a Western Conference that only got better in the offseason.
That's why the rookie coach needs to have all his stars on the same page by the start of the season. He doesn't want egos to get in the way and needs them to embrace a team-first mentality.
NBA News: Darvin Ham Talks About Sacrifice For The Team
"We talk about sacrifice," Ham said. "The first thing people think about is sacrificing scoring output or shots. No, sacrifice is making selfless plays. If you don't have the ball pushing on the break, are you willing to sprint to your spot and open up a lane for your teammate? Are you willing to sprint and open up a shot for your teammate? Are you willing to box out even though you're not getting that damn rebound, but you putting a body on a body, so your man can come in and scoop it up and keep it going with our pace? That's the thing I am thinking about."
Ham Says Anthony Davis Will Be The Key To Their Success
Ham is also looking forward to having a healthy Anthony Davis next season. Per him, The Brow will be the key to success, as LeBron isn't getting any younger, and Westbrook isn't likely to change his game at this point:
"This is not gonna work without A.D.," Ham said. "No disrespect to Bron or disrespect to Russ, they're gonna be who they are. Bron is going to continue to be great and Russ is going to have a much, much better season but having A.D. available, especially with the guys we just signed, the young guys, it's going to be invaluable. And he's the centerpiece to that championship table that we are trying to build."
Some don't think the Lakers are a better team now than they were last season. But if their three stars get on the same page, then they might as well silence all their critics and go back to the top of the Conference.