Videos by OutKick
Now that the cat’s out the bag on the Russell Westbrook experiment in LA, the 22-22 Lakers are somehow pointing the finger at…the coach?
According to a recent report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick, the Lake Show are considering a move at head coach.
It’s laughable that any team with two players making north of $30 million/year are contributing nothing to the roster and then shifting responsibility to the guy calling plays. One of those stars (cough), Anthony Davis, has played in 27 of the possible 44 contests — now it’s Vogel’s fault his second best player has bones made of glass? He can be coach all he wants — he’s not a genie.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) January 18, 2022
“By the time the Lakers and Jazz tipped off on Monday night,” the report said, “Vogel was coaching for his job after he narrowly avoided being fired in the wake of the 37-point loss in Denver 48 hours earlier. Had a scene like that repeated itself against the Jazz, many believed it would have been Vogel’s last game.
“Vogel, who coached the Lakers to a championship in 2020 and whose contract runs through the 2022-23 campaign, is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis and remains at risk of being fired soon if the progress doesn’t continue,” the source continued. “It’s unclear how much Monday’s win relieved the pressure that surrounds him.”
As previously stated, the Lakers are dealing with catastrophic injuries. They’re missing a couple bench contributors like Carmelo Anthony and Kendrick Nunn, who just suffered a setback during his “ramp up” session towards a return. But those ailments can be dealt with with a great coach and the Lakers hired Vogel to be that. Where the Lakers get in trouble is that they’re blaming general management mistakes on their head coach, and that’s unfair.
Frank Vogel didn’t make the call for Russell Westbrook — LeBron James and GM Rob Pelinka did. Why isn’t Pelinka’s job on the line? He’s the one that enabled LeBron to make this critical error.
And even though I defend Frank Vogel in the midst of the blame game, he’s still a flawed coach. A tough defensive mind, however his late-game lineups are questionable at best. Refusing to bench Russell Westbrook in crunch time these past few weeks for players that are contributing is a major red flag for the Lakers’ future aspirations to win another title. Vogel claims his team’s defense needs to improve if they want a chance. Pretty much the only words he knows.
“We got to be tight with all these coverages that go into it and we know how to build an elite defense. It hasn’t taken form quite yet with this group, but the work is still being put in, and when you work at something you are going to improve,” he said.
Doesn’t help when the team’s best defender in Anthony Davis never plays and your point guard is a revolving door at the point of attack. Can’t really expect a 37-year-old small forward to anchor your defense on a nightly basis either. This roster just isn’t equipped to reach the level Frank Vogel or Lakers fans want. Their error was this past offseason when they opted against a shooter for a player on the 18th hole of his career for $44 million a season. Blame general management, not Vogel.