FPositively, the Lakers have ended their disappointing regular season by hosting one of the most awkward interview sessions in recent memory. Just before Frank Vogel met with members of the media, he received a tweet from Adrian Wozniacki, an insider at ESPN’s Residential National Basketball Association, announcing that he had been fired as head coach of Purple and Gold. Everyone else did the same, and so the questions he received three months after their first winning streak focused on his response to the news. There was only one problem: the front office’s decision to give him a pink slip had not yet been officially announced.
Vogel was understandably unprepared. He was composed, but made it clear to the assembled crowd that “I was not told.” And, in light of the Lakers’ rare win without a marquee name on the tap, he recalls, “I’m going to enjoy tonight’s game, to celebrate what these guys have done in terms of scratching and clawing and coming back. I will deal with it tomorrow. ” To be sure, he saw the writing on the wall early last month, when rumors from reliable quarters indicated his departure was inevitable. After all, he was the best and knew that in the absence of official correspondence of influence, discussing his departure was tantamount to estimating the cost to his employers.
Don’t get me wrong. Vogel could not shoulder the blame for presiding over the wreckage of a real train. In all likelihood, he could have been more forceful outside the court and made decisions. Then again, it wasn’t his fault that the Lakers had virtually a rolling door for the players. Injury after injury, including shielding top guns LeBron James and Anthony Davis for significant periods of time, hampered his ability to make any sign of speed. In fact, he was so handicapped that he set up 39 different starting lineups in 82 competitions. And, in a highly competitive league where any team could win at any moment, constant patchwork was nothing but an element for success.
The Lakers had no choice. Vogel was the first step for them to jump-start any sign of improvement in their 2022-23 campaign. It’s also easier said than done in light of the need for them to do something – whatever. The next steps are going to be infinitely difficult, with the problems of chemistry requiring the movement of workers who do not have the leverage of resources or influence.
And there lies the rub. Considering the situation the Lakers are in, the worst has yet to come. James is not getting younger, Davis will no longer be sustainable, and third star Russell Westbrook remains an evil – meaning real changes cannot be made. So it is not surprising that everyone is disappointed. They can’t even dream, let’s dream big.
Written by Anthony L. Cuaycong Courtside From The commercial world Launched a sports department in 1994. He is a consultant on strategic planning, operations and human resource management, corporate communications and business development.