After the Lakers were eliminated from the playoff’s first round last week, the purple and gold front office decided to fire coach Darvin Ham on Friday. Without any time to waste, there are already some names been floated as potential replacements for this job vacancy.

According to Los Angeles insider Dave McMenamin, Tyronn Lue and JJ Redick are among those who are considered “real candidates” to take the role this summer.

“JJ [Redick] certainly is a real candidate if they do open up this coaching search,” the ESPN reporter said on the Dan Patrick Show. “There’s, I’d say, half a dozen folks out there, including possibly the guy who just lost last night against the Mavericks, Tyronn Lue … that there will be a process there that there are several viable candidates that will get an interview.”

One thing that is for sure, is that superstar LeBron James holds Redick in high regard, especially as they just started a podcast together called Mind the Game, where they break down everything that has to do with the NBA.

It was Lakers’ general manager Rob Pelinka who broke the news about their coach’s discharge. “We greatly appreciate Darvin Ham’s efforts on behalf of the Lakers and recognize the many accomplishments achieved over the past two seasons including last year’s remarkable run to the Western Conference finals,” he said in a statement.

Ham led the L.A. squad with a 90-74 (.549) mark, which included a Western Conference finals berth, two play-in victories, and the first-ever In-Season Tournament title. Pelinka said that he informed the former coach of the decision in a phone call before telling the press.

“We all want to thank Darvin for this dedication and positivity. While this was a difficult decision to make, it is the best course of action following a full review of the season. The organization will remain unwavering in its commitment to deliver championship-caliber basketball to Lakers fans around the world,” the GM assured.

After their first-round elimination, Ham described his time guiding the Lakers as “a hell of a two years”

Darvin, who still had two years remaining on his contract, seems to be content with his time in Los Angeles no matter what was the outcome. Right after he suffered his second-consecutive elimination at the hands of the Nuggets, he talked about his tenure.

“It’s been a hell of a two years … I’ll tell you that,” he said after Game 5 on Monday. “Sitting in this seat, it’s been a hell of a two years. A lot of good things that got done, but ultimately, you want to win that ultimate prize.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of our crew despite everything that happened. Obviously, the series didn’t go in our favor, didn’t start the way we wanted it to, but to win that one at home, our guys showed a lot of guts and a lot of character,” Ham added.

According to insider Shams Charania, the next-coach list to become the 29th Lakers tactician also include Kenny Atkinson, Mike Budenholzer and of course, JJ Redick and Ty Lue.


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