Ham went undrafted in 1996 but later signed with the Denver Nuggets at the start of the season that year. Ham was known for his powerful dunking style, which broke rims, shattered backboards, and instilled fear in defending opponents’ minds.
The NBA veteran won a championship as a member of the Detroit Pistons in 2004, beating the Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Horrace Grant, and the rest of the famous Los Angeles Lakers super-team.
In addition to the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets, Ham also played for the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, and Atlanta Hawks.
Ham started his NBA coaching career in 2011 as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers under head coach Mike Brown. After coaching for the Atlanta Hawks for a couple of seasons as an assistant, he followed head coach Mike Budenholzer to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018, helping coach them to an NBA championship in the 2020-2021 season.
Ham replaces Frank Vogel, who was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers after three seasons, having coached them to an NBA championship during the 2019-2020 season. The championship gave the Los Angeles Lakers its 17th NBA championship, which tied it with the Boston Celtics for the league’s most championships by any team.
When Ham was introduced as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach by the franchise’s general manager Rob Pelinka, he immediately gave thanks to God.
“First of all, I want to thank God,” Ham told reporters. “Coming from where I’ve come from—I was raised in a household of a strong spiritual faith—belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ—so I want to start with that.”
Ham shared that everything he’s been able to overcome in life is because of his faith in Jesus Christ, which was instilled in him at a young age by his family.
“Everything I’ve been able to overcome in my life, along with the people around me, it’s been that spirit that was instilled in me as a youngster,” Ham said.