Through 41 games of the 2019-20 NBA season, Frank Vogel and the Los Angeles Lakers are 33-8, a record that leads the Western Conference by over four games.
A lot of it is thanks to Anthony Davis and LeBron James, who have proven themselves to be the best duo in basketball. However, Vogel — who many thought would simply be a stopgap for an eventual takeover by Jason Kidd — is the one who’s really proven he belongs.
Vogel has been the Lakers ideal head coach since being hired in May 2019, both with his on-court schematics and his off-court chemistry with his players. Everyone on the Lakers has been in unanimous praise of the former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach and they have the record to show his abilities.
Davis had some particularly good things to say about his head coach, saying that Vogel keeping the two All-Star players accountable as well as the rest of the team — even after wins — is his most impressive feature, according to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
“He got on all of us — me, LeBron, everyone. A lot of coaches don’t get on their superstars, but he does,” Davis says. “What’s impressed me the most is that even when we win, he holds us accountable. When a team sees a coach getting on LeBron or me, the other guys respect him more and know they’ll be held accountable too.”
In addition, Davis especially loves Vogel’s attitude — win or lose. Davis praised Vogel’s even-keeled nature and proceeded to say he loves him as a head coach:
“Frank comes in every day, win or lose, with the same attitude. Never too high and never too low,” Davis says. “I love his coaching, I love his coaching style — and I love him as a coach.”
Heading into the second half of the season, knowing there is mutual trust in the locker room between the players and their head coach is hugely important. This is especially true with the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline coming up where the Lakers may make a move to improve the current roster.
If that happens, the chemistry can hopefully remain solid because of the locker room stability that Vogel has helped to create.
After all the drama during the 2019 NBA offseason, Vogel has brought clarity to this Lakers team that undoubtedly proves he was the right choice for this job. There will be some tall tasks ahead for Vogel and the Lakers this season, but it’s comforting to know that Davis and James especially have their head coach’s back.