Milwaukee Bucks bring back familiar face in shocking twist, beef up coaching staff

Los Angeles Lakers v Milwaukee Bucks
Los Angeles Lakers v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

A shocking move that came out of nowhere sees Darvin Ham return as the top assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, as announced by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ham spent two seasons as the head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers before being relieved of his duties in May following their first-round playoff exit to the Denver Nuggets. His Lakers teams finished above .500 in both seasons, and he had an average win percentage of 57.3 percent, along with a Conference Finals appearance in the 2022-23 season, where Denver again got the better of them.

The former NBA journeyman spent three seasons in Milwaukee as a player between 1999 and 2002. Ham would then go on to be an assistant coach with the Lakers and then in 2013, he joined the Atlanta Hawks as part of Mike Budenholzer's staff. Coach Bud, of course, took the reigns in Milwaukee, and Ham followed him as they went on to lead the Bucks to their second championship in 2021 and one of their most successful periods as a team.

This offseason, he was highly touted because of his reputation as an assistant, but now, with the experience as a head coach of a team such as the Lakers. Many thought following his dismissal and Budenholzer agreeing to become the new head coach of the Phoenix Suns, the two would again join forces. Yet, that will obviously not be the case, as Ham is surprisingly back in Milwaukee.

Darvin Ham returns to the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant

Ham has experience with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, along with many of the championship core still being on the Bucks roster. This will be a great move for the locker room that at times was finding it difficult to adjust following the appointment of Adrian Griffin as head coach prior to the 2023-24 season.

Doc Rivers now has his top assistant in what is a big offseason for the Bucks following their second first-round playoff exit in a row. The NBA Draft will be key along with free agency, but adding Ham to the coaching staff brings back another familiar face and one that possesses quality and a proven track record as an assistant coach.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis as the NBA Draft and free agency are just around the corner.