Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had a lot to navigate in his first year on the job, not the least of which included a tough matchup in the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. Although the Lakers eventually prevailed in that series, it sounds like some of the flopping allegations made by Warriors coach Steve Kerr still don't sit right with Ham.
Ham finally addressed the flopping fallout and the strategy behind the accusations on the UNCUT podcast live from NBA Summer League with Chris Haynes and Marc Stein,
“When you try to paint a narrative, it's like playing chess, playing poker,” Ham said. “Guys are trying to give themselves any and every chance, every possible way, to come out on top of a situation and be victorious. Me? I never blame the officiating. […] I struggle to try and be catty and petty and complain about the officiating. I don't want to use that as a crutch.”
This all traces back to Steve Kerr's postgame comments after a Warriors loss in Game 4, where he commented that the Lakers, “understand how to generate some calls” and that he “thought they took some flops and were rewarded.”
After mostly biting his tongue during the series, Darvin Ham made it clear how he felt about Kerr trying to generate a more favorable whistle.
“When I'm hearing different sound bites and I'm seeing the game within the game being played in the media and all that, I don't **** with it, I don't want nothing to do with it,” Ham said.
Ham was further pressed about the merits of the tactic, with the suggestion that Kerr, a disciple of Phil Jackson, borrowed a page out of the zen master's playbook.
“Well, I'm a Larry Brown disciple,” Ham said. “You're going to get out of your work what you put into it.”