The 2021-22 season will be remembered as one of the biggest disappointments of modern Los Angeles Lakers history after the team failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Despite all the star power on the roster, L.A. will finish the season with the worst record in the LeBron James era. Injuries played a major part in the Purple and Gold’s struggles: players kept sliding in and out of the rotation throughout the year, the James-Anthony Davis-Russell Westbrook trio played in just 21 games, and Kendrick Nunn didn’t make even one 2021-22 appearance of the Purple and Gold.
But the Lakers themselves admit they should have had a better season despite the hurdles they had to overcome. The spectacularly poor performance has led to questions over head coach Frank Vogel’s future with the franchise. After the Lakers got officially eliminated from Play-In Tournament contention, Vogel himself said he was “extremely disappointed” with how the season played out.
“Disappointed for our fanbase, disappointed for the Buss family, who gave us all this opportunity. We want to play our part and bring success to Laker basketball,” the head coach said following Tuesday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns.
“We fell short. We were eliminated tonight and I can say it’s not been due to the lack of effort. We have all put in the work. Our guys stayed fighting right until the end. I know we have games left but in terms of being eliminated. Brought integrity to the process. We just fell short through a disjointed season. We’re all disappointed.”
Vogel added he hasn’t had time to analyze what went wrong for the Lakers in 2021-22.
“Of late, my whole thought process has been centered around winning the next game and staying alive,” he said. “So no, not really.”
Vogel hopes to finish 2021-22 ‘with pride’
The Lakers need to make decisions regarding their approach to the remaining three games of the regular season. L.A. could shut down some of its stars — such as Anthony Davis, who returned from an injury last week even though his foot hadn’t fully healed.
“We’ll see,” Vogel said when asked how he will manage the last three games of the season.
“We’ll meet the front office, our players, and the coaching staff and just kind of see what’s best for our group. But finish out the season with pride and like I said, bring an integrity to our process.”
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