A look at NBA head coaches on LeBron James-led teams

A look at NBA head coaches on LeBron James-led teams

/ 10:28 AM May 04, 2024

LeBron James Lakers coach Darvin Ham NBA

LeBron James #23 and Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers watch play during a 110-96 Miami Heat win at Crypto.com Arena on January 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

A look at the NBA coaches who have led teams with LeBron James on the roster. The Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Darvin Ham on Friday:


—Paul Silas (2003-05): He was James’ first coach in the 2003-04 season and helped the first-year player win the NBA Rookie of the Year award. But Silas was let go 64 games into the 2005 season with the Cavaliers at 34-30.

—Brendan Malone (2005): He became interim coach after Silas was dismissed and went 8-10 with the team to miss out on the NBA playoffs.


—Mike Brown (2005-10): He led the Cavaliers to the playoffs in all five seasons with James on the roster, making it to the NBA Finals in their second season together in 2006-07. James was named NBA MVP in his final two seasons with Brown as coach. Brown was let go before James’ pending free agency in the summer of 2010.

READ: NBA: Lakers fire head coach Darvin Ham after playoff ouster


LeBron James Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra NBA

Head coach Erik Spoelstra and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrate against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat won 121-106. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

—Erik Spoelstra (2010-14): He led the Heat to the NBA Finals all four seasons coaching James, winning it all in 2012 and 2013. James won NBA MVP in both those seasons.


—David Blatt (2014-16): Blatt coached James in his return to Cleveland, losing in the NBA Finals to Golden State. Blatt was fired the next season with the team at 30-11. Then-GM David Griffin said at the time: “What I see is that we need to build a collective spirit, a strength of spirit, a collective will.”

—Tyronn Lue (2016-18): Lue was promoted to take over for Blatt, and he led the Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA title over the Warriors. Lue and James made two more trips to the Finals before James opted for free agency and ended his second term with Cleveland.


READ: NBA: LeBron tight-lipped on future after Lakers playoff exit


—Luke Walton (2018-19): James was slowed by injuries and the Lakers missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season at 37-45. Walton and the Lakers mutually agreed to part ways after the season.

—Frank Vogel (2019-22): Vogel and James had the Lakers at 49-14 and on top in the Western Conference before COVID-19 shut down the league. When games restarted, Los Angeles won the NBA championship. The team could not duplicate its success in Vogel’s final two years, advancing as a play-in team in 2021 and missing the playoffs in 2022. Vogel was fired after that season.


—Darvin Ham (2022-24): Ham and the Lakers started slowly in the first of two seasons together, before rallying as a seventh seed in the playoffs to reach the Western Conference finals. This past season, Los Angeles was knocked out in the opening round by defending champion Denver. The team announced Ham’s firing Friday. “While this was a difficult decision to make, it is the best course of action following a full review of the season,” GM Rob Pelinka said in a statement.

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TAGS: Lebron James, NBA

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