Since the passing of Dr. Jerry Buss in 2013, the Los Angeles Lakers have more or less been in free fall with multiple people coming in and out.
Despite reportedly only signing a three-year deal, head coach Frank Vogel hopes to bring consistency back to the organization.
While these ideologies might be somewhat different, they will not be entirely new and could be useful after the drama-filled month.
According to Kevin Ding of Lakers.com, Vogel shared that his coaching philosophy draws from that of a former Lakers legend, Phil Jackson:
“Phil Jackson is a role model, and basically a coaching idol of mine,” Vogel said. “He’s someone I really tried to model some of my coaching philosophies after. A lot of times those things are shaped by coaches you work with, but other times they’re shaped by coaches you admire and study. That was the case with Phil.”
Jackson has largely distanced himself from NBA activity since his departure from the New York Knicks front office. However, he reportedly was in contact with owner Jeanie Buss and initially recommended former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue.
Although Vogel has never appeared to use Jackson’s famous triangle offense, he is likely to bring some other Jackson-like qualities to the table. For example, Ding reported that Vogel has often cut in funny footage into game footage — just like his idol.
However, Vogel’s main focus seems to be building camaraderie throughout the entire Lakers organization, according to Cory Hansford of LakersNation.com:
“We need to build togetherness within our organization. I just don’t mean with the 15 guys or 17 guys that are going to be in uniform or in that locker room. I’m talking about organizational togetherness,” Vogel said as part of his opening statement.
Heading into the 2019-20 NBA season, the Lakers will need to come together. After dealing with trade rumors, injuries, and now a change in the coaching staff, they need organizational leadership.
While Vogel may only be able to do so much as a head coach, his will to change is strong. If he can help forge an identity on the court, perhaps the front office can as well.
Jackson was more or less given the reins by the late Dr. Buss, but whether Vogel receives such control will remain to be seen. Perhaps Jackson can return to his former team as a direct mentor for Vogel.
Of course, great change is easier to preach than it is to implement. With most of the team having no guarantee of coming back next season, the roster itself is in disarray. Finding good players to complement LeBron James and perhaps the young core is the first task in moving in the right direction.