One of the biggest strengths for the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the NBA restart was their strong sense of team chemistry they managed to build throughout the course of the season.
It came as a bit of surprise to those who speculated significant changes to the roster and coaching staff would require a period for adjustment. The fact that there were so many pieces that had previously gone head-to-head with LeBron James’ only added further intrigue to the dynamic in the locker room.
This was especially true for head coach Frank Vogel after facing off against James during their days as former Eastern Conference rivals. After all, the heated playoff battles between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat served as a turning point for each of their careers.
Much has changed since then and they have now teamed up to win a title with the Lakers. Although Vogel’s Pacers were able to give James’ Heat a run for their money back then, he is understandably is thrilled to be on the same side this time around.
“Obviously, it’s been great having LeBron on our side after years of going against him. In particular when we get to the playoffs environment, I’ve just seen how he is this year with some of the bigger regular-season games, how he’s more mentally locked in, more vocal, more making sure everybody else is locked in,” Vogel recently said.
“I anticipate come playoff time we’ll see that done at an enhanced level. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
More recently, Vogel has noted James and the Lakers collectively taking on a focus different than what was seen during the seeding games. It has been particularly evident since the Lakers learned they would face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
Vogel enjoys strong relationship with LeBron
James developed a reputation for being difficult on a head coach, but Vogel has enjoyed the exact opposite with his superstar.
“He and I have established a great partnership. I rely on his input on day-to-day decisions and the way we’re doing things,” Vogel said.
“Ultimately, I have to veto him in certain situations if we have to make sure we’re not going too long in practice in whatnot. But he’s been absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t ask for anything better from his coachability standpoint.”
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