Even after an objectively rough campaign, the Los Angeles Lakers have reason to feel good about where they stand heading into the 2022-23 season.
Their players are healthy, the roster is updated with brand new players, and the team's biggest superstar, LeBron James, has just committed to spending some more of his basketball future in Southern California.
Commenting on the extension, new Lakers coach Darvin Ham told ClutchPoints that it's well deserved and that James belongs with the best of the best who have ever played the game.
“It’s huge, man,” Ham told ClutchPoints in an interview. “It’s huge. LeBron is once-in-a-lifetime player. You only get so many players. Not even so many. You have Bill Russell, you have Wilt Chamberlain, you have Dr. J, you have Moses Malone, you had Larry Bird, Magic [Johnson], you had [Michael] Jordan, you had Allen Iverson, Shaq [O’Neal], Kobe [Bryant], and now it’s LeBron’s time. It’s once-in-a-lifetime type player that’s gonna be mentioned with the greats and mentioned as THE greatest,” Ham continued. “The things that he was facing coming out of high school and things he had to endure and conquer. He’s passed all tests with flying colors.”
Ham also revealed how he's able to keep calm and focus amid all the rumors and changes happening around the Lakers.
"My upbringing,” Ham said. “I come from Michigan. Anybody from Michigan, the Rust Belt, the middle class helped build affluent African-Americans. You come from that type of background, anything that was thrown at you in terms of the turbulent days of the ’80s and the influx of drugs and guns and all of that and everything that we’ve been through in fighting for our rights, [you could handle]. My parents were keen on educating my older brother and my younger sister about who we are as people and represent your name and represent it effectively. Don’t worry about what the world’s gonna do to you. You’ve got God on your side.”
Darvin Ham is optimistic about the upcoming season, but he will have his work cut out for him. If Russell Westbrook is still on the team come opening night, he will have to figure out how to utilize his game to maximum efficiency.
If not, he'll have to figure out how to incorporate an updated core into the Lakers' schemes. Ham seems more than up for the task, but it remains to be seen how the Lakers will come out of it all.