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Notes from L.A.: George, Ballmer, Harden, Pelinka, LeBron, and Ham

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, there were indications all season long that head coach Darvin Ham would be fired if the Lakers failed to mount a successful postseason run. After Los Angeles was destroyed by Denver in five games, Ham was fired officially on Friday, but Shelburne notes that it has been obvious for a while that this move was imminent.

 

LeBron James resisted Ham’s suggestion to restrict his playing time early in the season, according to sources who spoke with Shelburne. After a few games, James’ requests were granted, and that strategy was abandoned. Throughout the season, players also questioned Ham’s tactics in an open manner. Anthony Davis said, following the Game 2 defeat to Denver, “We have stretches where we don’t know what we’re doing on both ends of the floor.

Since Phil Jackson retired in 2011, the Lakers have gone through several head coaches, none of them have lasted longer than three seasons, according to Shelburne. Both Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni, who left Los Angeles to earn Coach of the Year titles with other clubs, are on that list. Shelburne counsels Lakers management to go into this coaching search with a clear understanding of the team’s goals in order to prevent making another temporary hire.

 

Further information from Los Angeles:

 

According to Jim Alexander of The Orange County Register, Ham’s success was impeded by internal undermining. Alexander hypothesizes that general manager Rob Pelinka, James, and his agent Rich circulated anonymous accusations in order to shift the spotlight away from his dubious hiring decisions.

Following the Clippers’ Friday night elimination in Dallas, James Harden declined to discuss his future, according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. After president of basketball operations Daryl Morey declined to provide him the long-term deal Harden was hoping for, Harden wanted a trade out of Philadelphia. It’s unclear, though, if the Clippers will accede to his requests this summer. When asked about his impending free agency, Harden said, “I don’t even know.” “I am unable to respond to the question you are posing to me. I’ve never given it a second thought.

Turner continues, “Coach Tyronn Lue is figuring out his own future with the Clippers, but he was happy that owner Steve Ballmer spoke to the team following Friday’s loss.” “He’s a true fan and the seventh or eighth richest man on the planet,” He really is a fan. He really does treat us like family,” Lue remarked. We have often witnessed his sincere concern for every single person. It therefore means a lot to have an owner who truly values not just your skill as a basketball player but also your identity as a person. Not like throwing you on a basketball court and calling you an employee. He truly does care about every single person. He cares about the wins. He’s fired up. He’s passionate about it. And, so, that’s what I love the most about Mr. Ballmer. He treats everyone as equals.

Talks over Paul George’s extension have stalled because the Clippers are unwilling to commit to a fourth season, sources told Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. Azarly’s sources claim that while George is eligible for up to $221MM over four seasons, the team’s most recent offer is less than that amount.

Written by schooleiwa

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