The Los Angeles Lakers have already accomplished the hard part in finding a suitable coach to step in after the team parted ways with Frank Vogel after the regular season. Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham , marking his first head coaching gig in the league. Ham comes highly respected around the league after spending several years under Mike Budenholzer in both Atlanta and Milwaukee, and he's only a year removed from being on the coaching staff that won a championship with the Bucks.With Ham in place, he'll now go to work in assembling his assistant coaching staff, and he's reportedly already secured one name.
Former NBA champion Rasheed Wallace has agreed to a deal to join Ham as an assistant, according to The Athletic.
Wallace spent this past year coaching at the collegiate level under Penny Hardaway at the University of Memphis. His departure from the Memphis coaching staff to join the Lakers was something that Hardaway expected and hinted at Monday morning.
"I think Rasheed might be going to LA with Darvin Ham. That was the deal from the beginning," Hardaway said via The Commercial Appeal. "If Darvin had gotten a job last year, Rasheed had already promised him that he was going to go with him. So, I'm thinking this year, with him getting the Lakers job, [Wallace] might still be going along with that process."
Hardaway was right in his assessment of the situation. Ham and Wallace's connection goes back to when the two were teammates when the Detroit Pistons won an NBA championship in 2004 (ironically enough, against the Lakers). It sounds as though they've remained close through the years, and now they'll be able to work together once again.
Wallace will certainly bring some grittiness to the Lakers as an assistant coach. He was known for being an in-your-face, aggressive player during his career, so perhaps some of those intangibles will be useful in working with the Lakers next season.