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Lakers fire head coach Ham after NBA playoff ouster

Los Angeles – Darvin Ham was fired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, four days after the team was ousted from the NBA playoffs by Denver, the club announced.

Ham went 90-74 in two seasons guiding the Lakers, but the team was swept by eventual NBA champion Denver in last year’s Western Conference final and eliminated in five games in round one by the Nuggets this season.

“We greatly appreciate Darvin’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,” Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said.

“While this was a difficult decision to make, it is the best course of action following a full review of the season. This organization will remain unwavering in its commitment to deliver championship-caliber basketball to Lakers fans around the world.”

In addition to who will be hired to guide the squad next, the Lakers face uncertainty over the future of superstar LeBron James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player who can opt out of his contract next season.

James has said he would like to play next season alongside his son Bronny, who has opted into next month’s NBA Draft.

The Lakers went 47-35 this season, including a victory in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, now called the NBA Cup. They beat New Orleans in the play-in round to seal a playoff spot against Denver.

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