Jason Kidd played a large role in the success of the Los Angeles Lakers the past two seasons, helping the team win a championship as the lead assistant on Frank Vogel’s staff. Kidd left this offseason to take over as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and has seen great success so far as Dallas looks to be one of the more dangerous playoff teams in the West.
Things haven’t gone nearly as well for Vogel and the Lakers, who are in the midst of their worst slump of the season and clinging on to a spot in the Play-In Tournament. Vogel’s job security has been called into question throughout the season with many unsure if he will still be with the Lakers after this season, but Kidd came to the defense of his former colleague.
“Frank is great. He’s going to work through this process that he’s going through with this team,” Kidd said before the Lakers played the Mavericks on Tuesday. “Frank is a great coach in this league. As much as we want to put the blame on coaches, it’s part of the show. Players have to take accountability, too. He’s won a championship here in L.A., so I think he’s going to be fine.
“He’s got the best player in the world, they just got to get healthy. That’s everything. We saw that in Dallas, we had COVID, we had injuries. To be judged once your team is healthy, then it’s fair to be judged whether you’re doing a good job or not.”
Health has been an issue for the Lakers all season long with both Anthony Davis and LeBron James missing portions of the season. Even when they have been healthy the team hasn’t been great, but with such a new team, time was needed to build chemistry and they haven’t been afforded that with injuries constantly forcing lineup and rotation changes.
There are arguments both for and against Vogel as he has not maximized the roster he has in front of him. But the roster also didn’t play to his strengths as a defensive-minded head coach, having little in the way of perimeter defenders.
Kidd has been in the trenches with Vogel and thus knows the work he puts in and believes he can navigate this rough patch and turn things around. But whether it is fair or not, Vogel will continue to be judged on the results of this team which haven’t been great this season.
James explains why he still has confidence in the Lakers
Time is running out for the Lakers to salvage this season, but as Kidd pointed out, Vogel’s team still has LeBron James and he explained why he still has full belief in their ability to turn it around.
“Because we still have games to play,” LeBron said. “Until you stomp me out, cut my head off and bury me 12-feet under, I got a chance. So that’s my confidence. Obviously at the end of the day, we got to come in and win ballgames and play better, but as long as we have more games to play, we still have a chance, so that’s my confidence.
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