With LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook leading a supporting cast of veteran role players, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has to be feeling good about his roster.
Vogel and the Lakers ended the 2020-21 season on a sour note, but look better prepared for the upcoming 2021-22 campaign. Under Vogel, Los Angeles has been one of the elite defensive teams in the league and despite the roster churn, he still wants the team to commit to that end of the floor.
Although Vogel will have several different lineups he can turn to throughout the year, trying to find time for everyone is going to be an issue.
“Well, that’s definitely a challenge and what we all like to call a good problem, right?” Vogel said at Lakers Media Day. “But it is still a difficult challenge. The thing I like about it is all the lineups that we put on the whiteboard, the different ways that we can go with our group, they’re all good. They all look really good to me.
“There’s not a lot of lineups to put up there where you feel like you have some holes and it’s going to be a struggle to win with that group. So for us, it’s just a matter of which of those good, good choices is going to be the best choices to start games, to finish games, the combinations of guys going to play throughout the year. All that stuff typically plays itself out in training camp, the practices early preseason games and along the way in the regular season.”
While it is easy to foresee players getting disgruntled about their roles, Vogel is confident that the common goal of winning is going to keep them focused.
“A lot of mouths to feed, yes. But we all know, I think everybody on our team understands that to win the ultimate goal, to win a championship, we have to be a team-first team and everyone in uniform is going to put the team above themselves individually,” Vogel explained. “They’re all here to win a championship. So that’s something I’m not really worried about. I think the age and experience can benefit you in this situation from a standpoint of understanding that stepping aside for a teammate or for the group to have success is sometimes necessary to win a championship. And I think the experience of our guys will help with that.”
So far, everyone on the roster has talked about sacrifice in order to win and that kind of early mentality is perhaps what gives Vogel confidence that things will work out. It will be interesting to see how Vogel hands out minutes, but either way, the Lakers should be in good shape.
Vogel’s extension only for one more year
Vogel has accomplished a lot since coming back to Los Angeles, but it appears that his future is still fairly uncertain as it was reported that his new contract extension was for only one year, taking him through the 2022-23 season.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!