After yet another disappointing loss in this underwhelming season for the Los Angeles Lakers, the uncertainty surrounding the future of head coach Frank Vogel grew even higher. Despite the best efforts of LeBron James, who again made history on this night, the Lakers blew another double-digit lead, this time in a seven-point loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Any time a team fails to live up to expectations as the Lakers are currently doing, the first person in danger tends to be the head coach as they are the easiest to get rid of for a franchise. While some things cannot be put on Vogel, some of his lineup and rotation decisions have drawn the ire of fans everywhere.
But following the Pacers’ loss, James came to the defense of Vogel and his coaching staff, believing they are doing their part, but the players are failing to execute.
“Coaching staff has been great,” James said. “They’ve put us in position to succeed and it’s up to us to buy in and handle business. There’s always things that we all can do better but there’s no blame.”
When asked about Vogel’s job security, James didn’t have much of an answer as he wants to remain positive through this rough patch.
“Listen, I’m not in the business of pointing fingers or pointing blame or trying to put a quote at the end or at the start of someone’s commentary of what they feel our coaching staff or Frank is or what Russ is or what I am or AD. If it’s not positive for me, I’m cool. It’s not my lane. I’m not a negative person.”
Carmelo Anthony also dismissed the idea of Vogel being to blame for the Laker’s struggles as the players seem to believe that it is their own failures that are causing the downfall of the Lakers this season. It is always difficult to judge just how much blame belongs on the coach as opposed to the players, but LeBron and others have refused to turn on Vogel.
The Lakers head coach has apparently been on a major hot seat recently with the Lakers blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets earlier in the week almost being the last straw.
The team’s inspiring victory over the Utah Jazz was a good step, but this latest loss to Indiana was another disappointment in a season full of them.
But one thing that hasn’t changed has been the belief of everyone within the organization about what this team can be. Oftentimes players and coaches can begin to clash in situations like this, but the Lakers have stuck together throughout these struggles. What Vogel’s future holds is unclear, but he will continue to push forward to turn things around, and James and the rest of the Lakers will not throw him under the bus.
James explains apology tweet, takes responsibility for Lakers poor effort
James recently tweeted out an apology to Lakers fans saying that the team would be better and he explained his reasoning as to why he decided to send that out.
“We understood that our effort and energy wasn’t where it needed to be in the Denver game, in the second half of the Memphis game and that other game we lost,” James said of the Lakers recent woes. “We just weren’t playing to our capabilities and we weren’t giving maximum effort.
“That starts with me as a leader of the team, so just taking honus and letting Laker Nation know. It wasn’t about anybody else, it was about our fans and the people that ride and die for the Lakers every single day, letting them know that I got this and it wasn’t happening again.”