Lakers head coach Frank Vogel might be on the hot seat.
According to The Athletic’s Bill Oram and Sam Amick, Vogel was “coaching for his job” by the time the Lakers’ game with the Jazz tipped off on Monday, Jan. 17.
The Lakers suffered a 37-point loss to the Nuggets a couple of days before. Oram and Amick added that “had a scene like that repeated itself against the Jazz, many believed it would have been Vogel’s last game.”
Led by LeBron James, the Lakers defeated the Jazz by a final score of 101-95.
Vogel is now reportedly being evaluated on a game-to-game basis.
Heading into Wednesday night’s game vs. the Pacers, Vogel spoke to the speculation.
“I don’t feel like I’m under siege,” Vogel said. “It comes with the territory, comes with being the Lakers coach. We have high expectations. This fan base really cares. It’s a big market, and I wouldn’t want it any other way, to be honest with you. I want people to care, I want people to want the best and to command excellence out of our group. That’s what we command of ourselves; that’s just the way it is.”
Just 15 months removed from an NBA championship, is it fair that he could lose his job?
“It’s really not up to me whether it’s fair or not,” Vogel said.
Why is Lakers head coach Frank Vogel reportedly coaching for his job?
Following their loss to the Suns in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers underwent some big changes in the offseason, headlined by them swapping a lot of their depth for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade. They entered the season with some of the highest odds to win the championship, but they have been hovering around .500 through the halfway mark of the season.
While they’ve dealt with a number of injuries — James missed time at the start of the season and Anthony Davis has been out for an extended period with a sprained MCL, most notably — “the organization’s decision-makers are closely monitoring the key question of whether Vogel still has command of the locker room,” Oram and Amick report.
NBA insider Marc Stein mentioned that he’s also heard Vogel’s job is “under serious threat.”
Can add I’ve heard the same as @billoram and @sam_amick: Frank Vogel’s job is under serious threat … ridiculous as it sounds to hold him accountable for an ill-fitting and aging roster, Anthony Davis’ absence, etc.
More on the Lakers to come from me: https://t.co/LGN9cVpeGP
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 18, 2022
The Lakers improved to 22-22 with their win over the Jazz, placing them seventh in the Western Conference standings. They rank 24th in offensive efficiency, 18th in defensive efficiency and 23rd in net rating.
Heading into the team’s matchup with the Jazz, James took to Twitter to apologize to Laker Nation, promising that “we’ll be better.”
James’ tweet came on the heels of Lakers legend Magic Johnson being critical of the team’s effort in their blowout loss to the Nuggets.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 16, 2022
The Lakers are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Pacers. They will then hit the road for six straight games that will see them face the Magic, Heat, Nets, 76ers, Hornets and Hawks.
The Lakers are currently 15-11 at home and 7-11 on the road.
How much longer is Frank Vogel under contract with the Lakers?
On Aug. 6, 2021, the Lakers announced that they had agreed to a contract extension with Vogel. According to Oram and Amick, it was only a one-year extension that will take him through the 2022-23 season.
Vogel has been head coach of the Lakers since the 2019-20 season. He led them to a championship in 2020, the franchise’s first in a decade.
Who are the assistant coaches on the Lakers?
The Lakers have six assistant coaches listed on their staff: David Fizdale, Phil Handy, Mike Penberthy, Miles Simon, Quinton Crawford and John Lucas III. If Vogel is fired, there’s no word yet on if/which one of them would replace him, even on an interim basis.