There were a lot of names being thrown around as potential candidates to be the next Los Angeles Lakers head coach but in the end, it was Frank Vogel who got the job.
Vogel is most well known for his time with the Indiana Pacers where he led them to a number of battles with LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Now after battling against James, Vogel has the opportunity to work with him and some wonder how that relationship will work. James has a reputation for having his own preferred head coaches on the bench and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue was believed to be his first choice.
With former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd — another reported James’ favorite — on Vogel’s coaching staff, many believe the head coach will have little respect from his player and the rest of the Lakers. In speaking with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Vogel says the opposite has been the case:
“I did feel support right from the start from LeBron,” Vogel said. “He’s always shown me a great deal of respect dating back to our battles when I was in Indiana and competing with the Heat in the conference finals, and coaching him in the All-Star Game. He’s always shown me a great deal of respect, so I felt like there would be a lot of support, and there was immediately and that’s continued on through up to this point. Hopefully we can work together to build something special.”
Often times it is those battles against someone that opens the door to respect from the two sides. Vogel led the Pacers to providing the biggest challenge in the Eastern Conference to James’ Heat teams that many believed would walk through it. That surely sticks in the mind of James as well as Vogel who was never able to overcome those teams.
The saga that went into the Lakers deciding on Vogel as their head coach has led to many dismissing him as someone who won’t get respect from his team and particularly, the leaders on his team. Vogel has been saying the right things so far and has his plan on how he will get the best out of this roster.
Nothing will be known for sure until the Lakers finally get on the court and things start to come together. Vogel and James both have the same goal for Los Angeles and that is to bring another championship banner for the 2019-20 NBA season.