Texas Tech basketball: Red Raider great Darvin Ham is NBA head coach candidate

Former Texas Tech basketball great Darvin Ham is being mentioned as a potential NBA head coach as jobs open up across The Association.

The man responsible for the most famous individual play in Texas Tech basketball history, Darvin Ham, may now be on the verge of becoming a first-time NBA head coach.  According to multiple reports, the former Texas Tech power forward is a candidate to fill multiple NBA opening including those in New Orleans and Chicago.

Many sources, including highly-connected inside Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, are mentioning Ham’s name as a candidate for the job in Chicago.  Earlier this month, the Bulls fired Jim Boylen after two years of poor results.

Meanwhile, Nick Alvarez at FanSided’s Pelicans site Pelican Debrief makes his case for hiring Ham over other, more well-known candidates.  His argument is based around the experience Ham has received as the top assistant under Mikwaquee Bucks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer, for whom Ham has worked for the last seven seasons with both the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks.

“Assistants under Mike Budenholzer have been tasked with playing vital roles in the growth of young players and that task seems to stick with them when they go one to head coaching as well,” Alvarez writes. “Right now, the biggest compliment to [former Brooklyn head coach Kenny] Atkinson, [current Utah head coach Quin] Synder, and [current Memphis head coach Taylor] Jenkins as head coaches is that they became great program builders when they took head coaching jobs.

“Imagine if Ham could bring his program to the New Orleans Pelicans? What if he could even mesh some of his former colleagues’ best schemes together to make the Pelicans a powerhouse? That could be just what the organization is looking for.”

Alvarez then points out that Ham’s experience as a former player could also be invaluable to him as a head coach.  What’s more, Ham has championship experience as a reserve on the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons.  And now that he’s the top assistant for the team with the best regular-season record in the NBA, Milwaukee, he seems to have checked all the boxes that need to be filled before he begins his head coaching career.

Ham’s experience as a career role player in the NBA could also make him a fantastic coach.  While we have seen legends like Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, and Bill Russell all try their hand at being head coaches with varying degrees of success, it has been the former role players who have gone on to become the best franchise builders.

Coaches such as Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr, Rick Carlisle, and Jerry Sloan were all worker bees as players before becoming some of the best coaches in the history of the game.  Could Ham follow in their footsteps?

We may soon find out.  As NBA teams continue to try to find the next coaching superstar, one is bound to eventually turn to Ham, whose backboard-shattering dunk against North Carolina in the 1996 NCAA Tournament remains one of the most iconic moments in March Madness history.  Now he could be on the verge of making more history as the first Texas Tech alum to ever be a head coach in the NBA.