Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Darvin Ham and the team’s other assistants have been in limbo after the hiring of new head coach Lloyd Pierce. On Thursday, signs point to Ham and the other assistants from last season having a reunion of sorts.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported that Ham, who was the Hawks’ top assistant, is expected to join former Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer’s staff with the Milwaukee Bucks. Aldridge also said “most if not all” of Budenholzer’s staff with the Hawks is expected to follow him to Milwaukee.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of Budenholzer’s imminent move to Milwaukee Wednesday night.
Ham was part of Budenholzer’s inaugural coaching staff with the Hawks in the 2013-2014 staff. He spent five season with the franchise, the last two as the top assistant. Ham was considered a candidate to replace Budenholzer and reportedly interviewed for the position before the Hawks chose Pierce.
Ham and Budenholzer were part of a coaching staff that led Atlanta to 213 wins over five seasons. The Hawks made the playoffs four times, with the highlight being the 2014-2015 campaign in which the team reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
At his introductory press conference Monday, Pierce said putting together his coaching staff was his top priority. Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk was also asked how the Hawks assistants from the Budenholzer era would be fit into that search.
“We’ve been candid and forthright with the staff from Day 1,” Schlenk said. “I would start by saying we have a very good staff in place here, but it’s important that Lloyd is comfortable with this staff. Over the next few days, he’ll take time, sit down and get to know these guys as best he can. Again, we need him to be comfortable, and we need people he’s comfortable with as we move this forward.”
“This being my fifth team in the NBA in 11 years, I’ve been on both sides of it,” Pierce said. “As Travis just mentioned, it’s important to really follow through on what you’re talking about and building an organization and having the right people in the organization to address the players, address (owner Tony Ressler) and Travis’ vision for the organization. It’s important, and it’s not just about friendships or relationships that you’ve had before. It’s about finding the right people, the right character and the right match.
“Being on both sides of that equation, as we talk, communicate and collaborate on these things, we’re just trying to find the right persons to be here.”