After a disastrous 2018-2019 season, the Los Angeles Lakers headed into a pivotal offseason. It started off very rocky with Magic Johnson resigning and rumors of unrest growing. Los Angeles made an underwhelming hire by making Frank Vogel the team’s head coach. They also turned head when they brought on Jason Kidd. Everything about the 2019-2020 Lakers seemed destined for failure. However, the team traded for Anthony Davis and Rob Pelinka built an excellent roster of veterans around LeBron James and Davis.
When the Lakers added Kidd, there was speculation that he was eventually going to take over for Vogel if he struggled. Several months later and Los Angeles leads the Western Conference. Vogel doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Kidd recently had a chance to talk about some of the preseason rumors.
“There’s always going to be chatter — it’s the Lakers,” Kidd said, via ESPN. “Sometimes people act like I never played a game and I’ve never been a teammate. I was a good teammate then, and I’m a good teammate now.”
Kidd’s time as a head coach was far from conventional and somewhat controversial. It wasn’t ridiculous for people to think that some sketchy stuff could arise at the time.
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Franks Vogel Praises Kidd
Nothing in Kidd’s tenure with the Lakers has suggested that he’s any kind of distraction and if anything, he’s been an asset.
“I can’t have four video guys on my staff,” Vogel said when talking about Kidd, via ESPN. “The right complement for me has always been a respected former player who has coaching experience. But you can’t have the mindset that you’re going to look over your shoulder — you need firepower on staff.”
Vogel deserves a lot of credit for the fact that Kidd hasn’t become an issue. His impressive job coaching this Lakers team has kept any rumors of a mutiny at bay. There’s nothing wrong with having too much talent on one coaching staff and it’s looking like the Kidd addition was a good call by the team.
Avery Bradley Sounds off on Vogel
Anthony Davis and LeBron James will rightfully get most of the credit for the Lakers’ quick turnaround. That said, the team wouldn’t be where they are right now if it wasn’t for Vogel. He’s clearly earned the respect of this team and they’ve boughten into what he’s selling.
“Frank is a motivator and true leader, and he’s consistent — emotionally and with his message,” says Lakers guard Avery Bradley, via ESPN. “That’s important because when you’re around a lot of alpha males every single day, you need a lot of consistency. It builds respect.”
After getting fired by the Orlando Magic, one could be forgiven for thinking that Vogel’s days as a head coach in the NBA were numbered. Now he’s making a serious case of Coach of the Year honors. Thanks to his efforts, Pelinka got a new title and contract. Perhaps Vogel will soon get rewarded for his role in turning the team around.