NBA Twitter Reacts to Lakers Coaching Bombshell: ‘That’s How Sh** Goes’

Rob Pelinka (left) and Frank Vogel

Getty Rob Pelinka (left) and Frank Vogel (right).

While the NBA bombshell report from The Athletic that came out on Tuesday morning around the status of Lakers head coach Frank Vogel had many immediately debating the merits of Vogel as a coach, many observers quickly pointed out that it was not Vogel who put together this ill-fitting roster of older players with limited skillsets.

That, of course, was team president Rob Pelinka. Much has already been said about the things Pelinka could have done differently this summer, starting with passing on the Russell Westbrook trade and instead keeping the likes of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso, while acquiring Buddy Hield from Sacramento for Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma.

Certainly, the chase of big man DeAndre Jordan, at the very least, is an obvious Pelinka mistake. This could have been a very different roster with just a handful of better decisions. Yet it is Vogel reportedly on the hot seat, not Pelinka.

And among Lakers observers that just does not sit right.

As Sam Quinn of CBS Sports wrote on Twitter, “Whatever happens to Frank Vogel should happen to Rob Pelinka. There are definitely valid criticisms of Vogel’s performance as coach of the Lakers, but Rob Pelinka inarguably has done a worse job as general manager of the Lakers. If one goes, the other has to go.”

Has Rob Pelinka Escaped Blame?

The Westbrook deal is the Pelinka move that has come to define this team’s uninspiring offseason, as reporter Bryan Toporek pointed out. The chances that Vogel was much consulted on that deal are low.

He tweeted: “It’s Frank Vogel’s fault that Rob Pelinka traded for Russell Westbrook? Hmm.”

Raj Chipalu, who has covered the Lakers for Lakers Outsiders, commented on the sheer impracticality of the Lakers’ approach to Vogel which, The Athletic reported, is that Vogel, “is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis and remains at risk of being fired soon if the progress doesn’t continue.”

Chipalu wrote, “Evaluating a coach on a game to game basis is nuts in a 82 game season. Who can coach like that? There’s short and long term goals that need to be executed. We have a guy on a 10 day that starts. Our 4th best player is a undrafted rookie. What are we doing?”

And another team reporter, Anthony Irwin, pointed out on Twitter, “Pelinka is, IMO, significantly worse at his job than Frank. One guy happens to be the other guy’s boss, though, and sometimes that’s just how sh** goes.”

Vogel Has Made Poor Decisions

There are legitimate complaints to be made about the performance of Vogel as the coach of this team. He was slow, early in the year, to move off of Jordan as the team’s starting center—though even that could have been more of a front-office directive than a Vogel decision.

His rotations have not always been sterling and the team’s offense is rather vanilla.

Still, Vogel has shown he can be a high-quality coach and he earned some credit in the organization for pushing the team through to the 2020 NBA Championship in the Orlando bubble. He needs the right players, though, and this roster does not have them. As many pointed out on Tuesday, that’s on Pelinka.

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