The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 season mercifully came to an end on Sunday night when they beat the Denver Nuggets, finishing 33-49 and failing to qualify for the postseason.
It’s hard to look at this season as anything but a massive failure considering the organization came into the year with championship expectations.
There were a number of factors for the Lakers’ struggles, whether it be a poorly constructed roster after the failed Russell Westbrook trade, injuries, or lack of effort.
As is usually the case though, someone has to be held responsible when things go this poorly, and for the Lakers, it will be their head coach.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers and Frank Vogel are expected to part ways at the conclusion of the season:
Frank Vogel has coached his final game for the Lakers, a decision that’s expected to be shared with him as soon as Monday, sources tell ESPN. Lakers’ search expected to be lengthy and expansive with no clear initial frontrunner.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2022
This marks a very disappointing end to Vogel’s three-year tenure with the Lakers. It started off great as Vogel led the organization through a ton of adversity in his first season, resulting in the Lakers’ 17th championship in the Orlando bubble.
The Lakers were decimated by injuries in Vogel’s second season, but he still led them to have the best defense in the NBA before losing in the first round.
Vogel received a contract extension last summer, although it was only believed to be for one extra season through 2022-23, so the Lakers still must pay him that. That should’ve been the first sign that they were not set on keeping Vogel long-term as a one-year extension does not show a ton of confidence.
Even though things didn’t end well, Vogel’s tenure with the Lakers should still be viewed overall as a success considering he won a championship.
Potential candidates to replace Vogel
As far as who will replace Vogel on the Lakers’ bench, there already have been some candidates mentioned with them reportedly hoping to land someone with past coaching experience.
Among the names that have come up are Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz and Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Both are currently still with other teams though, so it will be interesting to see how things play out this summer when the Lakers conduct yet another coaching search.
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