Lakers Rumors: Hawks' Chris Jent Hired as Top Asst. Coach on Darvin Ham's Staff

Erin WalshJune 18, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 29: Assistant Coach Chris Jent and Head Coach Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks speak during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 29, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jasear Thompson/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jasear Thompson/NBAE via Getty Images

Darvin Ham is making an addition to his coaching staff.

The Los Angeles Lakers are hiring Atlanta Hawks assistant Chris Jent as their top assistant coach, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Ham recruited Jent to join the team over the last week.

Jent entered the NBA as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2003-04 season and worked in the same capacity for the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Sacramento Kings.

He helped oversee the development of current Laker LeBron James from 2006-11 while with the Cavaliers. James was an All-Star in each of those seasons and was the scoring champion in 2007-08.

The 52-year-old was also an assistant coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes twice and the head coach of the G League's Bakersfield Jam in the 2015-16 season.

Jent had served as an assistant for the Hawks for the last five years and worked alongside Ham in Atlanta during the 2017-18 season.

Wojnarowski noted Jent and Ham "have maintained a strong relationship" since their time working together with the Hawks.

The Lakers hired Ham earlier this month to replace Frank Vogel, who was fired after the team finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record and missed the playoffs despite boasting a roster that included James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

L.A. struggled to remain healthy last season, and Westbrook had difficulty adjusting to life with his new team, which contributed to the organization's lack of success on the court.

That said, the Lakers front office is hoping Ham can navigate the team through a difficult Western Conference—led by the defending champion Golden State Warriors—and ultimately to the franchise's 18th title.