The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 season is officially over, and now they head into an offseason where changes will surely be made.
Head coach Frank Vogel was officially let go on Monday morning, a move that seemed inevitable as soon as the Lakers struggled out of the gate. Vogel never seemed to find the right combination of players to make his defensive schemes work, and offensively the Lakers failed to find any luck integrating Russell Westbrook.
Anthony Davis’ extended absences were also a major reason for Los Angeles’ shortcomings, but did seem to reflect positively on his time with Vogel, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I feel like he’s kind of not had a chance to, especially the last two years, coach his team,” Davis said. “With injuries, not just myself but overall. The first year was great. We happened to win a championship. He comes in as a defensive-minded coach and put his schemes that made us the No. 1 defense in the league my first and if I’m not mistaken, last year as well. Top-five defensively the last two out of three years.
“It’s been good and then the tough thing about this year is we haven’t been able to, just like last year, hasn’t had a chance to coach his full team, but Frank is one of the, I only had three coaches, but he’s one of my favorites. Out of head coaches and assistant coaches, he’s one of my favorites. I mean, he knows what he’s doing. He goes to war for his players and he wants to win. Just unfortunate he hasn’t had his chance to have his team the last couple of years, especially this year.”
While Davis did not know Vogel was being fired at the time of these comments, his words of praise speak volumes about his standing with the players. Vogel was by no means a perfect head coach but did manage to establish an identity that ultimately culminated in a championship.
The challenge for the Lakers now will be to find a suitable replacement for Vogel in the offseason. However, the core of LeBron James and Davis should make Los Angeles an attractive landing spot for any coach looking to win immediately.
Anthony Davis not expected to be traded
With injuries ruining two seasons for Davis, rumors have begun to circulate about the feasibility of trading the star. Davis acknowledged that rumors will happen, but he himself is not expecting to be dealt.
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