Lakers News: Frank Vogel Discusses Importance Of Lionel Hollins’ Absence
Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have a stacked coaching staff, comprising of some notable names in the NBA. While Frank Vogel captains the staff, Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins have served as NBA head coaches over the last decade.

Hollins joined the Lakers staff in 2019 alongside Vogel and has provided a crucial component to the squad over the years. His absence was felt during Los Angeles’ run in the Orlando bubble when Hollins coached remotely because he was evaluated as a high-risk individual for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Hollins did return for the start of the 2020-21 season, but on Feb. 22, he was away from the team due to personal reasons.

The long-time coach has not returned yet, but Vogel explained the importance of Hollins’ presence for the entire roster.

“It’s a challenge,” Vogel said. “We missed Lionel last year and we miss him right now. We’re hoping that he rejoins us when the team gets together again after the break. He’s got a strong voice in our culture and in our staff meetings and in our locker room with our players. Everybody respects his experience level and knowledge. We miss him during this time.”

The Lakers are currently the fourth seed in the Western Conference entering the All-Star break after dropping consecutive games to the Phoenix Suns, who leapfrogged them in the standings, and the Sacramento Kings.

Many teams are desperately anticipating this break to rest and regroup for the second half of the schedule, and Los Angeles is no exception.

They lost four games in a row without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder, and LeBron James appeared to be empty on fuel as he settled for deep, contested shots when the role players failed to augment their production.

Just recently, Marc Gasol entered health and safety protocols which removed him from the rotation during the games against Phoenix and Sacramento. Kyle Kuzma missed the Phoenix contest with a right heel contusion, and Alex Caruso missed the match against Sacramento due to a neck injury he suffered against Phoenix.

The injury woes for the Lakers continued to mount, but the All-Star break will allow for coaches and players to ease up.

Lakers remain interested in Rockets’ P.J. Tucker

The trade deadline, set for March 25, is quickly approaching and many teams will be browsing the market for potential upgrades.

The Lakers are in the midst of this as they seek to defend their recent NBA championship victory. Los Angeles is rumored to have interest in P.J. Tucker of the Houston Rockets, a veteran forward who could provide the team with off-ball shooting and staunch defense.

However, Houston is commanding a young player in return. The Lakers have intriguing young players in Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker that could be used to entice Houston, but it’s unclear what L.A. plans to do.

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