The Los Angeles Lakers have confirmed the sacking of head coach Frank Vogel following the team’s failure to make the NBA playoffs.
Vogel, appointed by the Lakers in 2019, led the franchise to an NBA championship in his first season in charge and despite a first-round playoff exit last year, saw his contract extended to 2023.
However, injuries to stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis and a poorly-built roster contributed to the Lakers’ struggling to an eventual 33-49 record, only good enough for 11th in the Western Conference.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Frank both on and off the court,” Lakers general manger Rob Pelinka said.
“Frank is a great coach and a good man. We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship.
“This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point. All of us here wish Frank and his wonderful family all the best for the future.”
Overall, Vogel is 431-389 in 11 seasons as head coach of the Indiana Pacers (2010-16), Orlando Magic (2016-18) and Lakers, who will hold a news conference later on Monday.
The Athletic reported that Toronto head coach Nick Nurse is among the Lakers’ top targets to replace Vogel.
LeBron: I respect Vogel as a coach and man
Shortly before the sacking was confirmed, James said he had “nothing but respect” Vogel and the work he had done in Los Angeles.
“I respect Frank as a coach and as a man. He’s a man who gives everything to the game,” James said.
“At the end of the day I don’t know what’s going to happen with Frank and him being here, but I have nothing but respect for him.”
James added that he anticipates changes in the offseason after the Lakers missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the past seven seasons.
James said it’s natural to begin the offseason thinking about what adjustments might be necessary to get the Lakers back to the NBA Finals.
He said he’s mulling any “roster that can bring in more wins” in 2022-23.
James averaged 30.3 points per game, becoming the first player to improve his career scoring average (27.1 points) in his 19th season. And he scored 30-plus points 34 times, easily setting another NBA record for a player in his 19th season.
He’s eligible for a contract extension with the Lakers this summer but said on Monday that he hasn’t had a conversation with the team about that deal.