Lakers’ Ham on commerce buzz: ‘We love our roster’
LAS VEGAS — Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham is aware of that the workforce he has now may look considerably totally different by the point he’s teaching video games that depend within the fall, however he’s embracing his present group simply the identical.
“We love everybody on our roster,” Ham informed reporters Friday at halftime of L.A.’s 104-84 summer season league loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday. “And till you are not on our roster, you are ours and we’ll attempt to get higher with the group that now we have. That is simply the underside line of it.
“I do not know a participant that is come by this league in my 26 years that hasn’t had their title a part of a commerce rumor a time or two. However, it’s what it’s. It is the character of the beast of our enterprise. And so, once more, the fellows now we have on our roster I am very grateful for, I am happy with and we wish to maximize the whole lot they’ll do to assist us get to that final objective.”
If the Lakers try and run it again with the identical core of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook that, of their first season collectively final 12 months, contributed to one of the crucial disappointing campaigns in franchise historical past, Ham’s vote of confidence can solely assist him with participant relationships down the road.
However that continues to be a giant if.
The Lakers’ summer season league squad may need been on the court docket taking part in the Suns, however all eyes have been on the sidelines at Thomas & Mack Area, the place James and Westbrook could not have been farther aside.
James sat on the south baseline flanked by his agent, Wealthy Paul of Klutch Sports activities, and his longtime good friend and Lakers government administrator, Randy Mims. In the meantime, Westbrook positioned himself beside the Lakers’ bench on the other sideline.
In between the primary and second quarter, Ham and Lakers vp of basketball operations and basic supervisor Rob Pelinka walked over from their seats at half-court to greet James. Pelinka and the L.A. star shared a fast dialog, protecting their mouths with their arms for discretion.
With the Lakers engaged in commerce talks with the Brooklyn Nets and the Indiana Pacers within the final week — with sources telling ESPN that each eventualities contain sending Westbrook out — the positioning of James and Westbrook was notable.
However James and Westbrook stayed of their respective corners, with Westbrook exiting at halftime out of 1 tunnel and James leaving after the third quarter out of one other.
Ham, when requested if he has tried to construct camaraderie among the many Lakers’ marquee names in James, Westbrook and Davis since being named head coach final month, stated that their summer season schedules has made it troublesome.
“This can be a humorous time of 12 months,” Ham stated. “AD has a new child on the way in which. These guys have busy schedules. They’re busy guys. Russ is doing his trend factor. LeBron has a zillion issues occurring. Completely, we have been lockstep in communication. Nevertheless it’s onerous when guys have enterprise outdoors of basketball. However they do an excellent job of staying linked by way of every time I want them, every time I want ideas from all three of them, they’re proper there with me.”
Westbrook and James may need been stationed distant Friday, however they each had their impression on the motion, significantly with rookie guard Scotty Pippen Jr., who signed a two-way contract with L.A. final month.
Pippen led L.A. with 19 factors but additionally had 5 turnovers, with Phoenix’s protection focusing on him because the Lakers’ main playmaker.
“He gave me some pointers and I ended up utilizing them,” Pippen stated of recommendation Westbrook provided up on easy methods to thwart the Suns’ defensive strain.
James provided a special kind of help, actually serving to to elevate Pippen off the ground after he absorbed contact on the rim within the first half and took a tumble close to James’ toes.
“I suppose that was cool,” Pippen stated, earlier than including with fun, “he form of threw me up a little bit too excessive.”