NBA Analyst Calls out ‘Dysfunctional’ Lakers Coach Darvin Ham

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Former NBA champion and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins called out Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham following their 130-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, March 6, at home.

This is why Darvin Ham is the Lakers coach - Los Angeles Times

“When I look at the Lakers, I see a dysfunctional organization right now,” Perkins said on “First Take” on Thursday, March 7. “We don’t know if Darvin Ham’s gonna play D-Lo (D’Angelo Russell) in the fourth quarter. We don’t know what type of minutes he’s gonna get. He may go to IG and post something about D-loading and all things to that nature.

We could tell LeBron’s body language how frustrated he is at some points in time. At this point of the season with the Lakers, the playoffs have started already for them. The energy on the bench when you’re not on the floor should be there. The energy when you’re on the floor should be great, like all across the board.”

Russell went scoreless in the fourth quarter and wound up with only 10 points against the Kings while his counterpart, De’Aaron Fox exploded for a career-high-tying 44 points.

It was another low point for Russell, who was benched in the fourth quarter in the Lakers’ 124-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets on March 2.

After the benching, he posted a photo of him on the Lakers bench with the caption: “dloading.”

Russell bounced back with 26 points to pace the Lakers in a 116-104 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 4. But his inconsistency and poor defense that made him the subject of trade rumors showed up again against the Kings.

Lakers Blow Away 19-Point Lead

Russell’s 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the opening quarter gave the Lakers a 37-18 advantage. Then Kings stormed back with a 24-point turnaround in the second quarter. Russell scored only two points the rest of the way.

“They got a few easy opportunities in transition and they were able to get inside and make some tough shots. The sense of urgency we have to be able to maintain that,” Ham told reporters after the loss. “We talk about forcing our will on the game. We obviously initiated it, but we didn’t sustain it and we damn sure didn’t finish it.”

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The Kings built a 22-point lead in the third quarter, their largest in the game before the Lakers put up a semblance of a fight and closed the gap 104-92 on James’ layup to close the quarter.

Fox dropped 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers never got close within single digits.

LeBron James’ Left Ankle Injury

LeBron James, who led the Lakers’ losing effort with 31 points and 13 assists, left the game late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.

“I’ll be all right,” James told reporters, brushing off his ankle issue.

The 39-year-old Lakers superstar noted that he didn’t hurt it on a particular play but it was just due to wear and tear.

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“It’s just my ankle,” he told reporters. “It’s just what I’ve been dealing with before the [All-Star] break, after the break. I’m just managing it the best way I can. I played the whole third, sat a little bit to start the fourth, and when I got back in, it kind of just — whatever. It’s just something I’ve been dealing with.”

The loss dropped the 34-30 Lakers to 10th in the West half-game behind the 33-28 Golden State Warriors, who snapped the Milwaukee Bucks‘ six-game winning streak with a 125-90 blowout.

Alder Almo is a basketball journalist covering the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors for Heavy. He has more than 15 years of experience in local and international media, including broadcast, print and digital. He previously covered the Knicks for Empire Sports Media and the NBA for Off the Glass. Alder is from the Philippines and is now based in Jersey City, New Jersey. More about Alder Almo

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