The Los Angeles Lakers have dealt with losses on the court, but one in Frank Vogel’s coaching staff hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention. Assistant coach Lionel Hollins was not allowed to travel with the team to Orlando due to being deemed more high risk for the coronavirus.
It was a decision that did not sit particularly well with Hollins who was vocal about wanting to be with the Lakers for this journey. Vogel is ensuring that Hollins remains involved with the team remotely.
“He’s very vocal in all of our coaches’ meetings,” Vogel said. “I gave him a little shoutout at practice, I looked at the camera and spoke directly to him as if he was in the gym with us. … He’s very much a part of what we’re doing. It was one of the concepts that he would normally take the drill throughout the season. Obviously he was just here remotely, so we gave him a little shoutout.”
Much like the Lakers player, the coaching staff is very close as well with everyone bringing their own viewpoints and ideas. Hollins has over 30 years of coaching experience and has a ton of knowledge and ideas to bring to the table. It isn’t ideal that he can’t be with the team but it’s important to Vogel that Hollins still contributes like he wants to.
“Every morning in the staff meetings, he’s one of the more vocal coaches by giving his observations. There’s value in that,” Vogel said.
“Not having him here is not the ideal situation, but the ability to see things from afar and with a different lens than being up close, gives us all a different perspective. I think there’s strength in what he’s bringing to the table and we’re happy to utilize him that way.”
Everyone on the Lakers, be it players, coaches, or staff will contribute to this team in every way possible in order to come away with the championship at the end of the season. Not being in Orlando is not enough to keep Hollins away from this team.
Rob Pelinka contributing in practice
With some staff not being available in Orlando, the Lakers have taken a team-first approach across the board with everyone contributing wherever they can. That has even included vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka stepping in.
“He’s been wonderful. He’s led our group with the encouragement that everybody is going to be in flex staffing and willing to do any job to help out. He’s been out rebounding a little bit, and I actually used he and myself in one of our drills,” Vogel said.
“I didn’t see any available cones, so I stood off one elbow, he stood off the other, and the players had to run around us. We served as cones in practice, which was different for both of us.”
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