In the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t land Monty Williams and they had a very public debacle with Tyronn Lue. The team eventually settled with Frank Vogel, which didn’t much inspire the fan base. However, several months later, Vogel is looking like he may have been the perfect hire for this team.
Halfway through the season, the Lakers are 33-8 and have a four-game lead in the Western Conference. Plenty of people deserve praise for the team’s quick turnaround, but Vogel may deserve more credit than he’s getting. ESPN released a profile on the veteran head coach on Friday and Anthony Davis had some interesting comments.
“He got on all of us [after a poor defensive performance against the New Orleans Pelicans] — me, LeBron, everyone. A lot of coaches don’t get on their superstars, but he does,” Davis said to ESPN. “What’s impressed me the most is that even when we win, he holds us accountable. When a team sees a coach getting on LeBron or me, the other guys respect him more and know they’ll be held accountable too.”
Considering Vogel wasn’t the top coaching candidate when the Lakers brought him in, it wouldn’t have surprised anybody if just let his superstar walk all over him. He deserves a lot of praise for his ability to hold his superstar accountable while also keeping them happy.
Jared Dudley Praises Vogel’s Communication
Even though the Lakers reloaded this offseason, it’s hard to imagine many actually thought the team would be this good this quickly. Jared Dudley was one of the veteran players Los Angeles brought in this past offseason and he credits Vogel’s ability to communicate as a reason the coach has had success.
“His communication skills have been on point when it comes to the top two players,” Dudley said to ESPN. “He knows the temperature of the team, knows when [James and Davis] need time off, when to rely on them, when to get on them in a film session. Everything he’s doing says ‘veteran coach.'”
When the Lakers gave the keys to the team to Vogel, it was because of his experience. He wasn’t the sexiest name on the market, but he had been successful in the past. He’s taken his teams to the playoffs five out of the eight years he’s coached and it looks like he’s going to go six for nine after this season.
Follow the Heavy on Lakers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Anthony Davis ‘Loves’ Vogel’s Coaching Style
Now that he’s with the Lakers, Vogel has access to more talent and resources than he ever did before. He helped take the Indiana Pacers to back-to-back conference finals appearances and he did that with only one superstar player in Paul George. Now that he has two, he’ll have his best shot to get over the hump. Anthony Davis had some more high praise for the coach.
“Frank comes in every day, win or lose, with the same attitude. Never too high and never too low,” Davis said. “I love his coaching, I love his coaching style — and I love him as a coach.”
When your superstars are saying they “love” their coaches coaching, that’s a really good sign. Vogel may not be the most exciting coach in the NBA, but it’s clear that he knows what he’s doing and he may just be the perfect coach for this Lakers squad.