Darvin Ham Declines Phoenix Suns Assistant Coaching Offer a Closer Look at His Decision

In a recent development, Darvin Ham has reportedly turned down an offer to join Mike Budenholzer’s coaching staff with the Phoenix Suns. According to league sources cited by The Stein Line, Budenholzer reached out to Ham, hoping to reunite with his former assistant coach. However, Ham, who was dismissed as the Lakers’ head coach on May 3, decided to pass on the opportunity after two challenging seasons with the Lakers.

Darvin Ham’s Past with Budenholzer

Ham and Budenholzer share a significant coaching history. Ham served as an assistant under Budenholzer during his tenure as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 2013-14 to 2017-18. Their professional relationship continued with the Milwaukee Bucks from 2018-19 to 2021-22, before Ham took on the role of head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Record with the Lakers

Ham’s time with the Lakers was marked by both notable achievements and significant challenges. This season, the NBA introduced the In-Season Tournament, and Ham’s Lakers emerged as the inaugural winners, defeating the Indiana Pacers in the finals. However, despite this triumph, the Lakers faced difficulties in the playoffs.

In the 2022-23 season, Ham’s Lakers made a deep playoff run, reaching the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the Denver Nuggets. The following season, the team faced the Nuggets again, this time in the first round, managing to extend the series to five games before being eliminated. Both seasons saw the Lakers securing their playoff spots through the Play-In Tournament, indicating a struggle to secure a guaranteed playoff position.

Under Ham’s leadership, the Lakers had mixed success. In the 2022-23 season, they finished with a 43-39 record, placing 5th in the Pacific Division and ultimately losing in the Conference Finals to the Nuggets. The 2023-24 season saw an improvement, with a 47-35 record and a 3rd place finish in the Pacific Division, but they fell short again in the playoffs, losing to the Nuggets in the first round.

Suns Hire David Fizdale

Following Ham’s decision, the Suns turned their attention to David Fizdale, a member of Frank Vogel’s staff. Initially offered a front office role, Fizdale has now been asked to stay on as an assistant coach under Budenholzer. This move indicates the Suns’ determination to build a strong and experienced coaching team around their new head coach.

Also Read: Lakers Trade News Jarred Vanderbilt Available Austin Reaves Likely to Stay


Darvin Ham’s decision to decline the Suns’ offer marks another chapter in his dynamic coaching career. With a history of significant contributions as an assistant and head coach, Ham’s future in the NBA remains a topic of keen interest. As the Phoenix Suns continue to restructure their coaching staff, the league will be watching closely to see how these changes impact the upcoming season.

Kishan Singh is the Visionary Founder and Driving Force Behind Crazy Hoops. With a Deep Passion for Basketball and Talent of Storytelling, his background in Sports Journalism and Digital media allows him to Create engaging and informative content that resonates with Readers.

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