Part of what allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to be so successful during the 2019-20 season was that everyone — from head coach Frank Vogel all the way to Jared Dudley — was on the exact same page. After such a drama-filled 2018-19 season, it was a stark difference to see a well-oiled machine led by Vogel.
Throughout the season, LeBron James and Anthony Davis received virtually all of the credit for the Lakers’ great play, while the coaching staff and role players were criticized for not doing enough to help the superstars. However, the postseason proved how much of a team effort the difficult season really was.
Dudley outlined exactly why things went so well for L.A., giving the bulk of the credit to Vogel for his selfless and prepared coaching style, via the “Bill Simmons Podcast“:
“If Frank Vogel wasn’t the coach, I don’t know if we would’ve worked. I don’t think he gets enough credit. No ego, you’re dealing with stars, and sometimes he’ll sit back when there’s six conversations and he’ll wait for them to be over. A lot of coaches have such an ego. … The preparation we had was phenomenal. The best I’ve had, and I’ve had great coaches.”
Calling Vogel the best coach in terms of preparation is very high praise, especially when considering that Dudley has worked with seasoned veterans like Alvin Gentry and Doc Rivers. Being in the role that Dudley had, he probably spent extra time working with Vogel, assisting in any way he can to make a perfect game plan.
When he was first hired by the Lakers, Vogel was not given his proper respect. A rough stint with the Orlando Magic seemingly discredited all the excellent work he did with the Indiana Pacers, but it seems he’s finally getting the respect he deserves.
Vogel proud of Lakers defense during the 2019-20 season
After securing the championship, Vogel had nothing but kind words to the Lakers roster for their commitment to the defensive end.
“I’m so proud of that. You can have a talented team, even a defensive-talented team, but if everybody is not working together and everybody is not bought in and seeing the value of being able to suffocate an opponent and take away their strength, you’re not going to reach that level,” he said.
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