There has been a lot of talk about Frank Vogel’s job security with the Los Angeles Lakers but LeBron James threw some support behind his head coach on Monday, showing support for the skipper that helped lead LA to a title in 2020.
James was asked if the criticism of Vogel was “fair” and the Lakers’ superstar had a very diplomatic answer.
“I think criticism comes with the job, you know? Frank is a strong-minded guy. He has a great coaching staff,” James told reporters on Monday, December 6. “And we as players have to do a better job of going out and producing on the floor. We’re a team and an organization that doesn’t mind some adversity, that doesn’t mind people saying things about us, obviously, because it comes with the territory.”
James made sure to note that it isn’t just Vogel who draws criticism. Anyone wearing purple and gold is a target. And guys like James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Davis have heard the noise throughout their careers.
“We have a lot of guys on this team that have been bulletin board material for quite a long time. So it don’t quite bother us,” James said. “Everything that we do stays in house when it comes to our preparation and how we prepare for our next opponent and how we prepare to get better. Frank doesn’t care and we don’t either about what people are saying.”
Frank Vogel Could be ‘Scapegoat’ For Lakers’ Issues
One key reason the Lakers could part ways with Vogel is that there aren’t a lot of other significant moves the team could make to shake things up with their salary cap issues and lack of trade assets.
Earlier this season Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus pointed out that if the Russell Westbrook trade proved to ultimately be unsuccessful, Vogel could end up being the casualtiy.
“His [Westbrook’s] lack of ball security could prove to be the team’s Achilles’ heel in the playoffs,” Pincus detailed. “But the Lakers still have several months to sort out their issues. Will that be enough to keep Vogel employed? He could end up the scapegoat for a situation well beyond his control. The team recently re-signed him to a one-year extension that didn’t necessarily come with long-term job security.”
Last week, ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith took aim at Vogel saying he’d be let go if the Lakers did not turn things around after a 12-12 start.
“I expect the Lakers to fire Frank Vogel,” Smith noted during the December 3 edition of NBA Countdown. “I am not advocating it by any stretch of the imagination. I like Frank Vogel. Frank Vogel has been a top-notch defensive mind in the NBA. I think that he’s a champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s already delivered that, and I think he deserves the opportunity to continue going forward.
Vogel Agrees With James on Criticism
For the most part, Vogel agreed with James’ take on the criticism, acknowledging it comes with the gig. He didn’t seem to think, however, that being with the Lakers adds any extra scrutiny.
“Not really,” Vogel said of the thesis that the pressure is more coaching the Lakers than other jobs. “There’s going to be criticism with this job. It’s something we’re all accustomed to. And I’ve been a coach for 10 years — I’ve seen it all. Is it more national? Yes, it’s more national. Is there a bigger fan base in this market in LA? Yes there is. But it’s there for every head coach and it’s something I’m not unfamiliar with. So it just comes with the job.”
James, Vogel and the Lakers have a chance to climb over .500 on Tuesday against the Celtics.