Lakers Update: Darvin Ham’s Spirit Revitalized by Reunion with 2004 Pistons Squad””Lakers Update: Darvin Ham’s Spirit Revitalized by Reunion with 2004 Pistons Squad””Lakers Update: Darvin Ham’s Spirit Revitalized by Reunion with 2004 Pistons Squad

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has collected many accolades and memories over his years as both a player and a coach in the NBA. His biggest achievement in his eight seasons as a player was winning the 2003-04 NBA championship as a member of the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons were one of the most fascinating champions of the modern era, as they won without a superstar on the strength of their team defense.

Ham did not play significant minutes for that Pistons team, but given the style they played with, there is no denying that every member of that roster played a significant role in that title effort. And that effort was recognized in a 20-year anniversary ceremony on March 17, when the Pistons faced the Miami Heat. Members of the 2003-04 championship team were honored and Ham flew out between Lakers games to be in attendance.

Upon returning, Ham spoke about how energizing it was to relive the memories of that season and spend some time with his former teammates.

“It was amazing,” Ham said before Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. “Just to get back and to go zig zag across the country in 24 hours, I left after the game on Saturday night and landed around 5:50, got to the hotel and immediately went to sleep after a four hour and 50 minute trip, woke up and went over to the arena, got to see all my guys…

“All these years later, it’s just like we never skipped a beat. That was a serious brotherhood and it remains to be to this day, all of us. Just the winning culture that franchise is about, well, was about and eventually they’ll get back to that, hopefully. That place always has a special place in my heart and just being around my guys, we all keep in touch so it wasn’t like what’s been going on, what’s up with this.

“But just to see what everyone has done in the basketball world since we were all a part of that special group in ’04, it definitely filled my cup up over the rim. Just like a recharge. Everyone wishing me well, giving their thoughts on what they’re been seeing, everyone watching us closely obviously, especially those guys. Just the reassurance of continuing to do you and be you, keep competing your ass off and we love you, got you back. All of that. So it was exactly what the doctor ordered.”

The Lakers need all the energy they can get as they gear up for a home stretch that may require them to win two Play-In Tournament games before trying to upset the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference as a No. 8 seed.

Ham’s successes as a player and coach show that he can easily contribute to winning basketball, and now is his time to prove that as the head signal caller for the Lakers in a pivotal moment.

Before the Lakers and Atlanta Hawks faced off on Monday, Hawks head coach Quin Synder revealed his message to Ham when mentoring him at the beginning of last season during L.A.’s struggles.

“The conversations we had were just like, this is the NBA and there’s adversity and you just keep doing what you think is right and you persevere. Our dialogue together was more along those lines as much as anything. Obviously I think anybody who is coaching in this league knows how challenging it is and sometimes as much as anything, you need some support to kind of see the big picture because you can get really focused on a result on a given night or during any given time.”

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