The upsetting start to the 2021-22 season reportedly put Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel’s future in peril about a month-and-a-half into the current campaign.
Then, L.A.’s bout with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the four-game winning streak the team recorded when most of its stars returned silenced the rumors. But the speculations are back following the string of the Lakers’ disastrous performances last week.
After L.A. tumbled to below the .500 mark again due to the 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, Vogel reportedly came close to being fired. The 48-year-old approached the Monday clash with the Utah Jazz believed to be “coaching for his job.”
The Lakers notched a convincing 101-95 victory over one of the top Western Conference teams. The result seems to have boosted Vogel’s chances of survival, according to the L.A. Times’ Dan Woike:
The statement was made to the media but it might as well have been aimed at Lakers executives Rob Pelinka, Kurt and Linda Rambis, and, ultimately, Jeanie Buss. They’re the ones with Vogel’s fate in their hands, and according to NBA insiders, the coach was being seriously evaluated.
Now, though, people with knowledge of the situation insist “there are no current plans” to replace Vogel — a sign that the coach has navigated through the latest drama surrounding his position.
Vogel’s aforementioned statements related to the head coach’s promises on Monday, when he insisted the Lakers’ results would eventually improve thanks to the tireless work of his coaching staff.
But Vogel and his assistants continue to be evaluated. The people running the Lakers’ front office, including senior basketball advisor Kurt Rambis, have reportedly become more involved in the team’s day-to-day operations recently:
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Pelinka, the Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations and general manager, and Kurt Rambis, the team’s senior basketball advisor, met with Vogel and assistant coach David Fizdale after last week’s loss to the Sacramento Kings to discuss ways to turn things around. It was the third time the group had met in recent days.
The Lakers then lost on Saturday to the Denver Nuggets by 37 points, their worst defeat of the season, putting more heat on Vogel.
Rambis then attended the Lakers’ pregame coaches meeting Monday. Rambis has regularly attended coaching meetings this season and advocated for the Lakers to use more traditional strategies.
In addition to the latest drama surrounding the Lakers’ coaching staff, Magic Johnson called out L.A.’s lack of effort following the blowout loss to the Nuggets.
LeBron James apologizes Lakers fans for poor run
LeBron James didn’t speak to the media after the Lakers fell to the Nuggets on Saturday for only the second time this season.
However, the four-time NBA champion then took to social media to apologize to the team’s fans for the most recent slump, promising L.A. “will be better.”
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