Lakers Set to Hire Frank Vogel as Coach, Sources Say
Posted Monday, May 13, 2019 - 9:38 am
The Los Angeles Lakers have yet to announce a news conference to introduce new coach Frank Vogel, one day after ESPN broke the news that the former Indiana Pacers coach had agreed to a three-year contract to coach the team.
The Lakers did not respond to a request for comment about the reported hire on Saturday afternoon.
According to multiple reports, the Lakers have also agreed to hire Jason Kidd as one of Vogel’s top assistants. Kidd had a long and distinguished career as an NBA player, but as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks he posted a record of 183 wins and 190 losses.
In six seasons with the Pacers, Vogel, 45, had a record of 250-181, with five NBA playoff appearances and back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014. Vogel’s Pacers teams were always near the top of the NBA’s defensive rankings.
In two subsequent seasons coaching the Orlando Magic, however, Vogel went just 54-110 and was fired last year.
Former Lakers coach Luke Walton was dismissed on April 12 after the team finished the first season of superstar LeBron James’ tenure with a hugely disappointing 37-45 record, missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. They had missed the playoffs only five times in their previous 65 seasons.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers interviewed Kidd, 46, in April in what some at first considered a courtesy move. But upon meeting with Lakers’ front office personnel, Kidd made such an impression they wanted him on the staff of whichever coach they hired, the Times reported.
The Lakers are hoping Kidd can be a positive influence on talented-yet- inconsistent point guard Lonzo Ball, a UCLA product whose skill set is compared with Kidd’s, the Times said.
Prior to settling on Vogel, the Lakers apparently offered a similar three-year deal to Tyronn Lue — who led James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title and three consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
Lue turned the offer down — some say because he objected to including Kidd on his staff — but anticipated the Lakers would make a better offer that didn’t come, the Times reported.
The Lakers’ front office has been unsettled of late, with NBA legend Magic Johnson abruptly stepping down as president of basketball operations in February after two years on the job.