Frank Vogel fired: Lakers part ways with head coach after three seasons; General manager Rob Pelinka addresses the decision

Frank Vogel coached his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers. Vogel was fired by the Lakers on Monday, the team announced. The Lakers, winners of the 2020 NBA championship under Vogel, entered the season as Western Conference favorites. They failed to live up to that role due to a combination of injuries, age, a poorly constructed roster and poor roster management, and last Tuesday they were officially eliminated. playoffs. They closed the season with a 33-49 record. Now Vogel is paying the price for their failure and has been removed from coaching less than two years after leading the Lakers to the title.

“Today is not going to be a day of pointing fingers and coming out with all the specific reasons,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said of the decision to leave Vogel on Monday. it was time for a new voice. … This is to say nothing against the incredible achievements of Frank Vogel. He was an excellent coach here, and he will become an excellent coach elsewhere.

“It’s been a disappointing Lakers season across the board,” Pelinka added. “In the face of disappointment, our fans expect more, and that’s in every facet. It starts with the front office that I lead and our ability to build the right roster. It starts with the coaches who hold the players accountable and make sure there is execution on the ground.”

In truth, the Lakers were hardly attached to Vogel even when they hired him. They originally planned to hire Ty Lue, but when they only offered him a three-year contract and demanded control of his coaching staff, he declined the offer and the Lakers turned to Vogel. He accepted the shorter contract and it paid off for all parties involved. Yet even after Vogel won a championship, he still had to wait until the end of the 2020-21 season to secure a contract extension. This extension would have added only one year to his contract, only contracting him for a total of four despite Lue being granted a five-year contract with the Clippers before even coaching a game for them.

Vogel’s strength as a coach has always been his defensive acumen. The Lakers won the 2020 championship based on their defense, and last season ranked No. 1 in the league despite injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Even Vogel couldn’t save the Lakers’ roster this season, as they fell to 21st on defense. Add to that Vogel’s often baffling rotation decisions and the Lakers decided to leave their embattled coach.

Vogel should now become one of the most popular coaches on the market. In three stages of the NBA, he won a championship, reached the conference final three times and won just under 53% of his regular season games. If he couldn’t secure another head coaching job this offseason, he could either take a year off (as he did after being fired by the Orlando Magic in 2018) or move on. an assistant coaching position. Vogel was a rumored candidate for Lue’s staff if Lue was hired by the Lakers in 2019.

The Lakers, meanwhile, will now seek their sixth full-time head coach since Phil Jackson retired in 2011. None of the others have been as successful as Vogel. Traditionally, teams almost never fire coaches so soon after a championship. But the Lakers are not a traditional organization. They demand excellence year after year. They have made it clear that any coach who cannot meet this standard will be out of a job. Now, they’ve gone from being the only coach besides Jackson to lead them to a championship in the last three decades.