The Los Angeles Lakers are waving the flag for Darvin Ham to do what he desires for the club, even in the case of Russell Westbrook.
The authority of Ham on the lineup further expands, wherein league sources told that he has the power to shelf Westbrook on the sidelines during crunch time (h/t Joven Buha of The Athletic).
Added by Buha, Ham’s influence could go even beyond by making the former league MVP unstapled in the starting lineup.
Westbrook’s fit with the Lakers has been awkward and disastrous since last season. The trio of him, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis wasn’t able to feed sky high expectations, as the Lakers ultimately crumbled in a miserable way by even missing the postseason stage for the second time in four years.
As he continues to express his appreciation in coaching Westbrook all offseason long, it’ll definitely be a challenging task for Ham to convince him to take a back seat occasionally. Even frequently citing sacrifice, accountability and togetherness to be their mantras entering next season, it will take a huge, compelling presence for the rookie head coach to give the future hall of famer an enlightenment in his looming role at this stage of his career.
With 2022-2023 season still far for tip-off, Ham will certainly put his best efforts to build a great relationship with Westbrook.