LA Lakers are set to fire their head coach, Frank Vogel, after a disastrous season for NBA’s most recognized franchise.
According to reports, Vogel “has coached his final game for the Lakers, a decision that’s expected to be shared with him as soon as Monday.”
L.A. finished a disastrous 2021-22 campaign with a 33-49 record and failed to qualify for the postseason or play-in tournament despite being one of the favorites to win it all before the season began.
The Lakers overhauled their roster before this season by adding nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook and surrounding the Anthony Davis-LeBron James-Westbrook trio with a slew of veterans on one-year deals.
The experiment failed to work.
Injuries piled up, and James (56) and Davis (40) played a combined 96 games. Whenever they were on the court, they struggled to mesh as losses mounted.
Westbrook, a 14-year NBA veteran arguably endured the worst season of his career. His 15.0 player efficiency rating served as his worst-ever mark.
The team’s offense was particularly problematic with the Lakers sporting the NBA’s No. 23 efficiency in that department entering the last day’s game. The defense, which was No. 1 in efficiency last year, dropped all the way to 21st.
During a three-game losing streak in January that saw them drop to a 21-22 record, the Lakers lost by an average of 18.0 points per game in what can be interpreted as the lowest point of their season.
As is always the case in these situations, the coach takes all the blame and is promptly fired. A fate expected to befall Frank Vogel as well.
It’s a remarkable fall from championship glory for the Lakers since Vogel’s first season with L.A. resulted in a 52-19 regular-season record and the franchise’s first NBA championship in 10 years inside the Orlando bubble.
The second season was a prelude to mounting troubles.
Injuries to James and Davis left the Lakers needing to defeat the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament before eventually losing to the Western Conference champions Phoenix Suns in six first-round games.
The 48-year-old Vogel coached the Indiana Pacers from 2010-11 to 2015-16 and the Orlando Magic from 2016-17 to 2017-18 before landing with L.A. in 2019. He led the Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2013 and 2014.