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"We all know how I feel about Jeanie Buss or Rob Pelinka... I don't see them giving that to a first-year coach like Darvin Ham" - Stephen A. Smith makes his reservations about LA Lakers' coaching search clear

As the LA Lakers attempt to win another championship, Stephen A. Smith has reservations about the franchise's front office.
As the LA Lakers attempt to win another championship, Stephen A. Smith has reservations about the franchise's front office.
Johnnie Martinez

With the LA Lakers' coaching search beginning to conclude, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith has reservations about the front office making the right decision.

Owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka helped the Lakers to the 2020 championship, but their decision-making has since been questioned.

Given the recent track record of the team's executives, Smith has doubts about their ability to make the right decision in the coach-hiring process, saying:

"I have my questions about the Lakers and what they will do when it comes to a coach. You want to give them the benefit of the doubt, because we all know how I feel about Jeanie Buss or Rob Pelinka. You got some making up to do because of some of the choices that you've made over the last couple of years. It's got to be a coach with cachet."

Part of the reason Smith believes the Lakers need a coach with cachet is that they need someone who can handle players without management's interference.

"You can't tell the coach when to play players," Smith said.

If the Lakers win another championship in the LeBron James era, they'll need a coach who can get the best from the current roster – not one to oversee a rebuild.

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Stephen A. Smith questions if the LA Lakers will hire a frontrunner for the head coaching position due to experience

Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham is a front-runner for the LA Lakers' coaching vacancy, but he does not have head coaching experience.
Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham is a front-runner for the LA Lakers' coaching vacancy, but he does not have head coaching experience.

With one of the NBA's oldest rosters going into next season, the LA Lakers are in a position where the team needs to win now.

Stephen A. Smith questioned whether Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham can help the team win now.

"I have no questions about (Darvin Ham's) capabilities as a coach in terms of knowing what he's doing, and when he goes up in there, he'll have a plan and he'll try to execute it, etc., etc.," Smith said. "But are you as an organization really going to hand the reigns to a guy in his first time ever being a head coach and coaching the Lakers? I'm just suspect about that."

According to several sources, Ham has emerged as the clear front-runner for the position.

According to @ShamsCharania and @sam_amick of The Athletic, Darvin Ham has made the "strongest impression yet" on the Lakers among the finalists for the coaching job. Only a matter of time before Ham is given the job? Right move for LA?

While first-year head coaches have won championships before, Ham will have a difficult challenge ahead of him for the Lakers to meet expectations.


live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Should the LA Lakers hire Darvin Ham?

Yes

No

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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