Basketball

NBA insider: Darvin Ham tells LeBron everyone needs to step up on defense

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is ready to hold the Lakers accountable for their defensive play, agreeing with LeBron James on the matter. 

The latest report from Yahoo! Sports insider Chris Haynes portrays some painful conversations happening behind the scenes at the Lakers facility.

As LeBron James and the Lakers approach negotiations for an extension — with a possible two-year, $97.1 million deal on the table — James made it known how he feels about last year’s team, according to Haynes’ sources. Haynes wrote in excruciating detail about how James felt like the team didn’t even “give themselves a chance on many nights.”

“The majority of the hour-long meeting was about expressing concerns, and hearing out strategies and opinions to assure there wouldn’t be a repeat of last season’s epic failure.

James, sources said, drilled home the importance of consistent competitiveness and cohesion, noting that last season’s team didn’t give themselves a chance on many nights. The focus for the future Hall of Famer is competing every night in order to give themselves a chance to compete for a championship.”

Apparently, James isn’t the only one having stern talks about the future of the elite NBA franchise. Newly-instated head coach Darvin Ham is also surveying last year’s debacle and looking for ways to improve. And if players aren’t giving themselves a chance this year, Ham is determined to yank them off the court.

“Ham agreed with James and reiterated that his main objectives are to hold everyone accountable and foster an atmosphere of selflessness, sources said. He voiced that defensive tenacity needs to be picked up all across the roster and also forewarned that players would have to play new roles and if he sensed reluctance, he wouldn’t hesitate to remove them from the game, sources said.”

Darvin Ham agrees with LeBron James about dismal Lakers defense in 2021

Ever since he set foot in Lakers Nation, Ham has been clear that he watched Los Angeles closely last year and knows exactly what needs to be fixed.

Namely, Ham has spoken at length about how he plans to employ Russell Westbrook in the coming year, playing to the strengths that led the former OKC star to the Lakers in the first place.

Overall, the Lakers didn’t have the NBA’s worst defense last year, but they certainly ranked lower than any Lakers fan would like. LeBron and his team came in at 21st among NBA defenses with a 112.8 defensive rating. The Lakers were also 21st in defensive rebound percentage at 72 percent. When it came to opposing points allowed in the paint, the Lakers ranked among the league’s worst at 28th with 51.5 average points per game.

Although the Lakers have a great deal to work on offensively, it seems that James and Ham are already united on one thing: bringing up the defensive prowess for Banner 18.

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