The Lakers have officially fired head coach Frank Vogel on Monday afternoon, bringing an end to a tumultuous and inconsistent three-year tenure.
Thank you, Coach. pic.twitter.com/8eb4Ia9ZqI
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 11, 2022
Vogel and the Lakers limped to a shocking 11th-place finish in the Western Conference, going 33-49 despite boasting a roster with a “Big 3” of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook.
One of the largest examples of underachieving in league history, the Lakers had won the 2020 NBA title — their 17th in franchise history — in the 2020 Orlando bubble in Vogel’s first year with the team. However, they did not win another playoff round after that, getting bounced in the first round before missing the playoffs entirely this season.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Frank both on and off the court. Frank is a great coach and a good man,” general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship. This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point.”
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Los Angeles’ struggles all but sealed Vogel’s fate as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after its season finale on Sunday that his time was up as head coach. That didn’t stop James from giving one last vote of confidence for to his now-former head coach.
“I respect Frank as a coach, as a man,” James said. “Our partnership that we’ve had over the few years here has been nothing but candid, and great conversations. This is a guy that gives everything to the game and prepared us every single night. … I don’t know what’s going to happen with Frank being here, but I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”
After making the playoffs for 13 consecutive seasons from 2006-2018, James has now missed the playoffs twice in his four-year stint with the Lakers.