Basketball: Vogel fired by Lakers after season flop

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Los Angeles Lakers sacked coach Frank Vogel on Monday (April 11) following the group’s disastrous failure to achieve the NBA playoffs.

Lakers normal supervisor Rob Pelinka confirmed Vogel’s dismissal after three seasons, a day after the membership’s ill-fated marketing campaign drew to an in depth.

“This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point,” Pelinka stated.

Speculation over Vogel’s future intensified after the group’s remaining common season sport on Sunday, with ESPN reporting that the coach – who led the Lakers to a seventeenth NBA championship in 2020 – could be fired.

“Frank is a great coach and a good man,” Pelinka added.

“We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship.” The announcement got here as Lakers gamers addressed the media in end-of-season interviews.

Lakers celebrity LeBron James stated earlier than the announcement he had not been conscious of the group’s resolution regarding Vogel.

James stated he had “nothing but respect” for the 48-year-old.

“I respect Frank as a coach, as a man,” James stated.

“The partnership that we’ve had over the previous few years has been nothing however simply candid, nice conversations.

“He’s a man who provides every part to the sport. Prepared us each single evening together with his teaching workers.

“At the end of the day, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”

Vogel bristled when requested about his reported dismissal instantly after the Lakers’ 146-141 additional time win over the Denver Nuggets of their remaining gae of the season on Sunday.

“I haven’t been told sh** and I’m going to enjoy tonight’s game, celebrate what these young guys did in terms of scratching and clawing and getting back in this game and getting a W, and we’ll deal with tomorrow, tomorrow,” Vogel informed reporters.

Dismal report

The Lakers completed the 2021-2022 marketing campaign in eleventh place within the Western Conference, lacking out on the postseason with a dismal report of 33 wins and 49 losses.

It is barely the fourth time in James’ profession that he has failed to achieve the playoffs, and the second time it has occurred since he joined the Lakers in 2018.

The group had been tipped as championship contenders earlier than the season after buying nine-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster commerce.

But accidents meant that the Lakers have been solely in a position to area their massive three of James, Westbrook and Anthony Davis in 21 video games throughout the 82-game season.

James stated Monday that the group’s incapacity to seek out constant outcomes had been probably the most difficult side of the season.

“It felt like every time we would take a step forward, we would take three of four steps back,” James stated.

“We’d have an enormous win at dwelling towards a playoff-contending group like Utah – after which go on the highway and lose to Houston. That was the psychological facet, enjoying along with your psyche like ‘What the heck is going on?’

“How can we be so great one night and the next night be so mediocre? That was the most challenging part of the season for sure.”

James in the meantime batted away questions on his future with the Lakers, saying he had not mentioned the two-year contract extension he might be eligible to sign up August due to collective bargaining settlement guidelines.

However he insisted he nonetheless needed to problem for extra NBA titles with the Lakers.

“I came here to win a championship. And I want to win more. So I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, but I’m still hungry for more,” James stated. “I’m confident that this organisation wants the same.”

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