LA Lakers fire coach over disappointing results
After an upsetting season in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers announce the sacking of coach Frank Vogel, and LeBron James insists he wants to challenge for more titles with the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers sacked head coach Frank Vogel on Monday, saying a change of leadership was needed after the club's failure to reach the playoffs.
In a statement, Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka confirmed Vogel's dismissal, expressing that "This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point."
Speculation over Vogel's future intensified after the Lakers' final regular-season game on Sunday, with ESPN reporting that the coach -- who led the team to a 17th NBA championship in 2020 - would be fired.
The Lakers have officially fired head coach Frank Vogel, per @wojespn and @ramonashelburne pic.twitter.com/yGjYmilgMK— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 11, 2022
Speaking to reporters later Monday, Pelinka described the Lakers' season as "disappointing at every level."
"When you have disappointment you need to take ownership of that and make adjustments to be better," he considered.
Pelinka pointed out that "Today's not going to be a day of finger-pointing or unwinding all the specific reasons, we just felt organizationally, that it was time for a new voice."
James: "Nothing but respect" for Vogel
The sacking came as Lakers players addressed the media in end-of-season interviews.
Lakers superstar LeBron James said before the dismissal was confirmed that he had "nothing but respect" for Vogel.
"I respect Frank as a coach, as a man," James expressed earlier Monday, adding that Vogel is "a guy who gives everything to the game. Prepared us every single night with his coaching staff."
When asked about his reported dismissal immediately after the Lakers' 146-141 overtime win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Vogel told reporters that "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."
The Lakers finished the 2021-2022 NBA campaign in 11th place in the Western Conference, missing out on the postseason with an upsetting record of 33 wins and 49 losses.
It is only the fourth time in James' career that he has failed to reach the playoffs.
James pointed out Monday that the team's inability to find consistent results had been the most challenging aspect of the season.
"It felt like every time we would take a step forward, we would take three of four steps back," he explained.
James meanwhile avoided answering questions about his future with the Lakers, saying he had not discussed the two-year contract extension he will be eligible to sign in August because of collective bargaining agreement rules.
However, he insisted he still wanted to challenge for more NBA titles with the Lakers.