Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. However, that hasn’t stopped from a reputation as a “coach killer” forming, due to the fact that he’s had eight coaches in 17 seasons, despite only playing on only three teams.
Fair or not, James has garnered a label of someone who can uncoachable. That’s despite the likes of Erik Spoelstra, Tyronn Lue, Luke Walton and now Frank Vogel among those who speak highly of their time coaching James.
The rumors of James butting heads with coaches became extremely prevalent when David Blatt was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers despite helping the team get to the NBA Finals the year before. This was only exacerbated when Walton was almost immediately put on the hot seat once James signed in L.A.
Vogel, however, made it clear where matters stand with his megastar. “I can’t comment on how he was in the past, but he’s been extremely coachable for me and our coaching staff,” Vogel said. “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.
“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.”
No matter what happens with James and his coaches, speculation and instances from the past will always be brought up. Despite being in the playoffs almost every year of his career, James still had a new coach — on average — every two seasons.
For someone that successful, it in theory would make more sense to have fewer coaches. While the situation that led to Vogel’s hiring certainly didn’t help James’ reputation, their success together has essentially quieted all of them.
Vogel has found a great balance between leading the team and allowing his players to voice their opinions and influence or even make decisions.
James immediately respected Vogel
Due to their history as competitors — when James was with the Miami Heat and Vogel with the Indiana Pacers — LeBron was excited to be working with him on the Lakers.
“I already respected Frank just from a competitive standpoint, and when I was in Miami competing versus the Indiana Pacers teams,” James said earlier this year.
“You saw how they were always prepared. They were dedicated to their game plan. They were always ready for our matchups every time we played them. The battles we had versus those teams in Indiana. Didn’t need to have a level of respect because it was already there from the jump.”
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