The LA Lakers have decided to part ways with head coach Frank Vogel, according to reports from ESPN.
Vogel’s third season with the organization ended in disappointment, with the Lakers dropping out of the Play-In tournament board. The franchise has been mediocre throughout the season, despite having some of the league’s best players on their roster.
The experiment of building a veteran roster proved to be a disaster for the LA Lakers as many of their players succumbed to injuries. Also, those who were available weren’t able to take a defensive break.
Despite all the issues surrounding the players, Vogel took on much of the criticism for the Lakers’ lackluster season.
Charles Barkley had a few words for LA Lakers management, while discussing their head coach’s firing on ‘Inside the NBA’. He said:
“Well, Frank Vogel gets screwed. Whoever put these old a**geezers together, they deserve the lion’s share. They obviously scapegoated Frank and Russ (Russell Westbrook) all year.
The LA Lakers roster, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, gave up a lot of young legs to acquire Russell Westbrook before the start of the season. Once the youngsters left, LA had a squad filled mostly with veterans who made their average age 30+, the highest in the NBA.
While expectations were high, things did not go to plan, with Westbrook suffering from poor form and Davis’ injury problems.
Barkley then reflected on the Lakers’ problems:
“This team, I told you from day one – the only chance this team has to be competitive is Anthony Davis. And clearly he didn’t do what he was supposed to do.
“But blaming Frank and Russ for putting this old a** team together – I mean, I told you, it’s not enough Icy Hot, Bengay, Absorbine Jr. My grandma used to put some WD-40 on his knees and ankle to loosen them up. They should try that for those old a**geezers.
LeBron James, 37, was a big contributor averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 56 games. However, Davis spent most of his time on the sidelines. He’s only played 40 games this season, averaging 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
Davis was supposed to be the team’s catalyst, but his injuries weighed heavily on Frank Vogel’s plans.
Frank Vogel’s legacy with the LA Lakers
The LA Lakers organization being in such a predicament almost always meant things were going to change. Although faults can be distributed among different people within the team, it is almost always the head coach who suffers the consequences. This is also the case on this occasion.
When given the players that fit his coaching style, Frank Vogel was able to deliver a championship in 2019-20. The Lakers’ defensive effort is what kept them atop the league at the time and led them to a championship that season.
Overall, in the three seasons he led the team, Vogel is 127-98 and one title. Despite his split with the Lakers, he could still be a force in the league and a good coach for a team looking to bolster their defense.
The LA Lakers organization, meanwhile, has a lot of work to do, in terms of roster planning and filling the head coaching position.