When the Los Angeles Lakers decided to hire Frank Vogel as head coach, it wasn’t met with the best reviews. He failed at his last job and had been fired by two separate teams. He’s also a defensive-minded head coach in a league that is favoring offense more and more.
Despite those facts, he’s done a very good job with this Lakers team. They finished the season with the best record in the Western Conference and have looked impressive in the playoffs thus far. However, the coach isn’t without his shortcomings. According to Lakers veteran Danny Green, there’s one aspect of Vogel’s coaching style that isn’t ideal.
“I like Frank, but Frank is just too nice sometimes,” Green said on Inside the Green Room. I’m not saying I wish he would be more hard on me, but there are times where he could be honest a little bit more, or give me more of a task, more of a challenge so that I could step up to the challenge.”
That’s a surprisingly candid take from Green. No coach is perfect but you wouldn’t expect a veteran to put his coach on blast like that during the playoffs. Obviously, Green isn’t trying to start drama or anything but it is odd that he’d make his problems with Vogel known.
Green Acknowledges Vogel Is ‘Great Coach’
While it’s clear that Green does have some problems with Vogel’s coaching style, he does have a lot of respect for him. He also believes that LeBron James helps keeps Voegel’s shortcomings from being too evident.
“But he’s a great coach,” Green said. “I have great teammates who are encouraging. But Bron, Bron will challenge you. And some of our guys will challenge us, and we need that. Just to have that edge, that little bit of fight in us. Just challenge me sometimes. It’s okay to do that.”
When you have LeBron on your team, he’s going to take on some of the duties that are expected of the head coach. That hasn’t always worked but it’s working with this Lakers team. Vogel has done an excellent job of taking a bunch of new players and creating a winner.
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Vogel Planning on Opening up the Playbook
After getting some days off, the Lakers now know they’ll be facing the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs. The Portland Trail Balzers were a formidable foe but they never really posed that much a threat to the Lakers. Vogel opened up about how he’s attacking his playbook throughout these playoffs compared to the regular season.
“For sure. We’ve had more meetings about those things than actually working on them in practice,” Vogel said. “For instance, in the Portland series there were things we didn’t do in the regular season that we did in all the Portland practices leading up to that. But we haven’t done any of that. The last couple of practices have been a focus on ourselves.”
Though Vogel’s comments make it seem like they don’t take the regular season as seriously, he debunked that notion.
“We were still competing to win those games, but you get into a seven-game playoff series, there are so many more things you can be creative with on both sides of the ball that you wouldn’t see in a regular season game or seeding game. For the most part we played them pretty straight up and the creativity comes now.”