Though there was a time the NBA season was in doubt, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to push through and win a championship. The bubble got off to a rocky start for the team as they looked very out of rhythm. Despite that fact, that didn’t stop them from playing hard in every game.
In fact, the Lakers’ style of play rubbed some people the wrong way. The Orlando Magic played Los Angeles in a scrimmage game shortly before the bubble and veteran guard Evan Fournier called the team out for complaining.
“Our first pre-bubble game was against the Lakers, and they complained from the first to the last minute, although it was a scrimmage, no TVs or anything. It’s just how the Lakers approach games,” Fournier said.
LeBron James does have a reputation for complaining to referees so it’s not a surprise the Lakers do it in scrimmage games. The team took this season very seriously so they weren’t about to take it easy in scrimmage games. The Lakers’ style clearly worked out for them as they ended the season as champions while a team like the Magic didn’t even make it out of the first round.
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Lakers Vet Jared Dudley Praises Frank Vogel
Fournier may complain about the Lakers but what they did obviously worked. Head coach Frank Vogel deserves a lot of credit for getting this team to play hard at all times. Lakers veteran Jared Dudley had some high praise for the coach.
“If Frank Vogel wasn’t the coach, I don’t know if it would have worked,” Dudley said on Bill Simmons’ podcast. “I don’t know if he gets enough credit.”
Vogel wasn’t the obvious hire last season but it’s impossible to deny that he did an excellent job with the team. It’s not easy to get so many new players to play so well together. Dudley credits the amount Vogel prepares.
“The preparation we had was phenomenal,” Dudley said. “The best I’ve had in the league, and I’ve been with great coaches.”
Vogel Reveals How He Had Success
Vogel may have never won an NBA title prior to his first season with the Lakers, but he did have success elsewhere. The coach recently revealed a change that he made that helped him get over the hump in Los Angeles.
“My family, having moved around a lot, and this being my third head-coaching job, I really just wanted to go for it,” Vogel said on The Lowe Post podcast. “I wanted to lay it all out there and be unafraid and really coach my way. Because a lot of times, you get coaching jobs in the NBA, and you want to bend to appease your front office, you’re going to bend to appease your players. Sometimes you don’t always get to coach your way for various reasons — you want the job security, you want to not have to move your family, all these types of things. My family and I had been through a lot, so I was going to do it my way and live with the results.”
What Vogel did with the Lakers really worked and he can now forever say that he’s a championship head coach. Thanks to this season, he could have a long stint in Los Angeles ahead of himself.