With the 2019-2020 season officially in the rearview mirror, the Los Angeles Lakers can look toward the offseason where they will have to make decisions about the roster.
Key players such as Rajon Rondo, Kentavaious Caldwell-Pope and Dwight Howard will be free agents and the Lakers would be best-suited to trying to retain all three. Chemistry is a fragile thing and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka may ultimately decide that is something not to be messed with.
Pelinka’s come a long way as L.A.’s decision maker because his first full year with the team was met with plenty of skepticism and doubt as he had no prior front office experience. The end of the 2018-19 season for the Lakers came with a dramatic finish as Magic Johnson stepped down from his position as president of basketball operations.
He later called out Pelinka as a backstabber on ESPN’s “First Take.” To make matters worse, Johnson’s comments came on the same day Los Angeles was set to introduce Frank Vogel as their new head coach.
During an appearance on“The Lowe Post,” Vogel explained his calm demeanor and how he felt about Pelinka’s situation:
“I felt like that was really the only approach to have. I knew it was going to be directed at Rob (Pelinka), and you know everyone said they felt bad for me. I felt bad for Rob to have that attention in the press conference for the head coach. But for me, I was just impressed with how Rob handled it.
“I thought he handled it with class and dignity and I just quietly waited my turn and when the questions came for me I knew. At the end of the day, I got half as many questions as I normally would have gotten so that was just fine with me.”
It was a low moment for a franchise that was looking to rehabilitate its image, but of course that was all forgotten after the Lakers won the 2020 championship. Any bad blood between Johnson and Pelinka also subsided and the two celebrated shortly after the Game 6 buzzer sounded, a sign that the organization is moving in the right direction in every sense of the word.
Vogel perfect choice as Lakers head coach
It was widely reported that Vogel was the at best the Lakers’ third choice for head coach, but ultimately chose him after agreements with Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams fell through.
However, Vogel proved to be the right choice all along due to his defensive and team-first mindset that won over a locker room full of veterans. With Vogel at the helm, the Lakers should be contending for rings for the next few years.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!