These days, there are no questions about whether or not Frank Vogel was the right person to lead the Los Angeles Lakers back to championship glory.
Vogel was outstanding in leading the Lakers to the 2020 championship, pulling all the right strings and being the head of a team dealing with a season unlike any other.
This wasn’t the case when Vogel was originally hired, however, as it was common knowledge that the Lakers originally offered the job to former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. When contract negotiations between the Lakers and Lue fell through, the team moved on to Vogel.
According to Bill Oram and Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Lue encouraged Vogel to take the Lakers job after things fell through with himself:
“Someone is going to take the job,” Lue said to Vogel, according to a source familiar with the call. “Why not you?”
This is a positive thing to see and shows that coaches, much like NBA players, are a close-knit group who look out for each other. Not only did Lue not hold any grudges towards Vogel, he actively encouraged him to take the job that he no longer desired.
While Lue would go on to become the lead assistant coach for the L.A. Clippers, Vogel was the target of a ton of criticism from fans who viewed him as a transitional coach who might not make it through the entire season.
That belief was furthered by the addition of Jason Kidd as Vogel’s lead assistant. Some believed Kidd was basically the head coach in waiting, particularly given his relationship with LeBron James.
Now the two are direct competitors as Lue has become the head coach of the rival Clippers after one year in the assistant chair. Things could have been much different for both, but at this time it seems as if all parties involved are happy with how things turned out.
Vogel expecting Lakers to have ‘ugly nights’ during season
The first meeting between the two as the head coaches of the two Los Angeles franchises went the way of Lue as the Lakers fell to the Clippers on Opening Night. It was an ugly affair for the Lakers for much of the contest, which didn’t come as a surprise to Vogel.
“I don’t think we’re as ready as we would like to be,” Vogel said prior to the season opener. “Like we’ve said all along, we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves in any way, but the short offseason and condensed preseason has us in a place where we’re probably going to still be figuring things out the first month or so of the season.”
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