The Los Angeles Lakers have officially announced former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel as their new head coach, but it was a long road to get there.
Numerous candidates were considered including Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. The team also interviewed former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd and despite not hiring him as the head coach, the Lakers wanted him to be a part of Vogel’s coaching staff.
This raised red flags immediately as many speculated the Lakers wanted Kidd on the coaching staff to be the eventual replacement for Vogel. However, the 45-year-old has no worries about that possibility.
“I’m very good at blocking out noise. I’ve been around this business a long time and really don’t give that a second thought,” Vogel said following his introductory press conference. “You could say that about every coach in the league, about their assistant coaches. It happens from time to time.”
Feeding into the narrative is the history of Kidd. There were multiple reports of Kidd trying to take control of basketball operations while he was the Brooklyn Nets head coach and then negotiating with the Milwaukee Bucks while they still had a head coach under contract.
Despite the rumors and concerns surround Kidd’s history, Vogel insists that he isn’t worried or looking over his shoulder.
“I believe if you treat people with respect and do the job at the highest level, build an environment of positivity and collaboration, you can’t worry about that stuff,” Vogel added. “You can’t worry about looking over your shoulder. You’ve got to worry about getting good coaches. That’s how I feel about this hire.”
Vogel was adamant about togetherness when discussing the future of the Lakers. From ownership to the front office to the coaching staff and to the players themselves, everyone must be all on one accord. Vogel will be trusting of his coaching staff because if he isn’t, it sets a bad precedent for everyone else.
Kidd brings a lot to the table with his knowledge of the game, head coaching experience, and ability to help mentor the young core, particularly Lonzo Ball.
It could ultimately turn out that Kidd does take over for Vogel if he struggles and the concerns of many were justified. But if Vogel is worried about that from Day 1, that moment will come sooner rather than later.