Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has been saying all the right things since being introduced. From his very first press conference, it was clear Vogel was ready for this high-level responsibility to coach LeBron James and perhaps the young core.
Since then, Vogel has continued to impress by speaking very highly of the players currently on the roster. In addition, he has done a spectacular job dealing with the criticisms of the organization as a whole and how things can get turned around.
When asked about James’ 2018-19 NBA season with the Lakers, Vogel echoed a very similar sentiment that many of the fans share, bringing up the Christmas Day groin injury against the Golden State Warriors that all but ended Year 1.
“Obviously the injury was the big thing. He started the season being the same LeBron James we’ve for many, many years. Dominant, ready to take a franchise deep into the playoffs and to compete for a championship,” Vogel recently said. “Obviously that got derailed with his injury.”
“What everybody has to understand is when you have an injury, you have the time that you missed, which your team is thinking about. Then when you’re first getting back out there, it takes some time to get your legs back under you,” Vogel said in reference to James’ struggles getting back in shape. “To me, the whole second half of the season he was not the LeBron James that we know of. That part is behind us, we’re going to work our tails off this season. I expect us to see one helluva bounce-back year from LeBron James.”
In addition to this hopeful analysis, Vogel also spoke about his interaction with James himself after being hired. And while the 45-year-old said he will never discuss private conversations, he felt confident in the nature of the exchange.
“I have spoken to him — after I was hired, not before. The nature of that conversation, and you’ll learn about me, most of my conversations with our players will remain private,” Vogel said of his talks.
“But I will say that it was very positive. There’s an excitement about what we can be and what we can accomplish. I’m looking forward to getting started with him.”
For the time being, Vogel seems like exactly the head coach the Lakers have needed. If Vogel can carry this passion and leadership into the 2019-20 season, he may have just become the team’s long-term solution.