Lakers head coach Frank Vogel could be on the bench.
According to Bill Oram and Sam Amick of The Athletic, Vogel was “training for his job” when the Lakers’ game against the Jazz began on Monday, January 17.
The Lakers suffered a 37-point loss to the Nuggets a couple of days earlier. Oram and Amick added that “if a scene like that were repeated 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.
It’s unclear how much of the pressure around him was relieved by Monday’s win over the Jazz.
More: https://t.co/RF7kDUhdQp pic.twitter.com/IVe5K8LtCV
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) January 18, 2023
Vogel is now reportedly being evaluated on a game-by-game basis.
Why is Lakers head coach Frank Vogel reportedly training for his job?
Following their loss to the Suns in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers underwent some big changes in the offseason, led by trading much of their depth for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade. . They started the season with some of the highest odds to win the championship, but have been hovering around .500 through the middle of the season.
While they’ve dealt with a number of injuries (James missed time early in the season and Anthony Davis has been out for an extended period with a sprained MCL, in particular), “the organization’s decision-makers are closely monitoring close the key question of whether Vogel still has command of the locker room,” report Oram and Amick.
NBA insider Marc Stein mentioned that he also heard that Vogel’s job is “under serious threat.”
May I add that I have heard the same thing @billoram Y @sam_amic: Frank Vogel’s job is under serious threat… as ridiculous as it sounds to hold him responsible for an aging, ill-fitting roster, the absence of Anthony Davis, etc.
More on the Lakers to come from me: https://t.co/LGN9cVpeGP
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 18, 2023
The Lakers improved to 22-22 with their win over the Jazz, putting 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 “we’ll be better.”
#LakerNation I apologize and promise that we will be better! 👑💜💛
-LeBron James (@KingJames) January 17, 2023
James’ tweet came on the heels of Lakers legend Magic Johnson criticizing the team’s effort in their blowout loss to the Nuggets.
After being defeated by the Nuggets 133-96, we as @Lakers The fans can accept being outdone, but we deserve more than a lack of effort and a lack of sense of urgency. Owner @JeanieBuss, You deserve more.
—Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 16, 2023
The Lakers return to action on Wednesday when they host the Pacers. They will then hit the road for six straight games pitting them against 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 does Frank Vogel have under contract with the Lakers?
On August 6, 2023, 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 2023-23 season.
Vogel has been the Lakers’ head coach 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 of the Lakers?
The Lakers have six assistant coaches on their roster: David Fizdale, Phil Handy, Mike Penberthy, Miles Simon, Quinton Crawford and John Lucas III. If Vogel is fired, it is not yet known if/which of them would replace him, even on an interim basis.