The Los Angeles Lakers were a mess from essentially the beginning of the season, but we are just starting to understand how bad things really were.
Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times did a deep dive into the Lakers’ failed season, and it included a great number of details surrounding the lack of harmony behind the scenes. One detail stood out about how the Lakers were apparently responding to coach Frank Vogel.
Opposing scouts observed Lakers players ignoring coaches’ instructions, according to Woike and Turner. The report does not make clear how frequently this occurred, but it certainly sounds as if it took place more than once.
On one hand, this speaks poorly of the players. Clearly, they did not have the answers, as the team struggled virtually all year long. Some of the Lakers’ disjointed play certainly could have been down to players thinking they knew best when they really didn’t.
However, it also doesn’t reflect well on coach Frank Vogel. He struggled to forge a relationship with Russell Westbrook, and clearly some other players were not fans either. Many will point to his fundamentally flawed roster, which is fair, but he clearly did not make the most of what he had.
The Lakers are likely to make a coaching change, and whoever replaces Vogel will probably have to find a way to work with Westbrook.