Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has caught a lot of flak for how the 2021-22 season has unraveled, but at least he got to enjoy a win in the final game.
The Lakers erased a double-digit lead and won in overtime against the Denver Nuggets, a rare moment of success for the team. However, almost as soon as the buzzer sounded a report surfaced that the Lakers were planning on letting go of Vogel soon.
Vogel was asked about the rumors, but did not sound interested in discussing them.
“I haven’t been told s— and I’m going to enjoy tonight’s game, celebrate what these young guys did in terms of scratching and clawing and getting back in this game and getting a W, and we’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow,” Vogel said.
A large part of Los Angeles’ comeback was Austin Reaves, who recorded a triple-double. Vogel heaped plenty of praise on the rookie, largely crediting him for how he performed down the stretch.
“He was playing a terrific game. We saw at halftime that he was almost to a triple-double in terms of having five assists but 10 points and 10 boards, but we just wanted to put the ball in his hands as much as possible in the second half. Obviously Malik Monk caught fire and was red-hot, he ended up with 41 and was a huge part of the win. But obviously in a game like this, you want to give opportunities to your G League guys that have been scratching and clawing and trying to make their way as well.
“So we put those guys in there down the stretch and man, they competed their tails off. Austin had a performance for the ages. I think there’s very few rookies, four rookies in NBA history, that have had a 30-15-10 triple-double. So he’s in rare company there. I told him it was a very Pistol Pete-esque performance and just an awesome game and awesome ways for our guys to finish out what was a very difficult season.”
It was inevitable that the Lakers were going to let go of Vogel after the season, but it was in poor taste that reports of his firing came immediately after the game. However, it should now overshadow the job he has done during his tenure and he should always be remembered for bringing another title to Los Angeles.
Vogel believes Johnson has made case to be valuable role player for Lakers
Whoever is the next head coach for the Lakers will surely appreciate someone like Stanley Johnson who worked hard to earn his keep in the NBA. Vogel believes Johnson improved over the course of the year and made a case to be someone the team should keep long term.
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