Lakers' Darvin Ham takes dig at Warriors' Steve Kerr during Game 5: 'We don't teach flopping'
Lakers' Darvin Ham takes dig at Warriors' Steve Kerr during Game 5: 'We don't teach flopping'
Darvin Ham takes apparent dig at Steve Kerr during Game 5

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham apparently sees — and hears — everything, including comments made to the media by the opposing coach.

After the first quarter of the Lakers' Game 5 meeting with the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals, Ham gave a very direct response to Steve Kerr's "personal plea" to the NBA regarding LA's apparent tendency to flop in order to receive calls.

"We don't teach flopping," Ham said to TNT's Chris Haynes in between the first and second quarters. "We teach our players to play downhill and attack the paint and be forceful."

"We don't teach flopping."

Lakers coach Darvin Ham 🍿

— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) May 11, 2023

Haynes, who seemed to immediately recognize that Ham was responding to Kerr, had quite the visible reaction before moving on to his next question.

Entering Game 5, the Lakers had attempted 103 free throws in the series while the Warriors had attempted just 51. Haynes' question was in response to a drive from Dennis Schroder where no foul was called despite apparent contact from Golden State's defense.

The non-call elicited a reaction from the Lakers staff and, in turn, resulted in Ham's response to Kerr's statement. In the first quarter of Game 5, LA attempted six free throws to Golden State's one.

It is worth noting that during the regular season, the Lakers ranked first in the league in free throw attempts per game while the Warriors ranked last.

MORE: Three ways the Warriors can extend series vs. Lakers

What did Steve Kerr say about the Lakers flopping?

After the Lakers attempted eight more free throws than the Warriors in Game 4, Kerr spoke his mind to reporters at Arena.

"I think we should address (flopping), because the players are so smart, and the entire regular season is about gamesmanship and trying to fool the refs. And this is how it’s been for a while, and it’s up to us as a league.

"Do we want to fix this? ... These are all things that are my personal plea to the NBA. I think we can do better in terms of cleaning up the flopping. In the meantime, I give the Lakers credit for the plays that they’ve been able to sell."

Steve Kerr would like to see the NBA address its flopping issue and suggests implementing rules similar to FIBA

— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 10, 2023

As part of his statement, Kerr called on his familiarity with FIBA, where there is a rule that penalizes players for flopping. The NCAA has addressed flopping in a similar manner, assessing technical fouls to players that are deemed to have flopped.

Kerr's comments seemingly lit a fire under Ham, and Haynes reported that the Lakers caught wind of them as well. Whether or not it has an impact on Golden State's ability to overcome a 3-1 series deficit remains to be seen.

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