Former NBA star Richard Jefferson is letting the Los Angeles Lakers have it over their handling of coach Frank Vogel’s firing.
Jefferson, an ESPN analyst, said on Monday’s edition of “NBA Today” that the Lakers are in “utter disarray” and showed “cowardice” in how Vogel was informed of his dismissal.
“We sit up here and we criticize players all the time. A lot of the time, people in the front office can stay kind of hidden,” Jefferson said. “If you just look at the words that [Rob Pelinka] said — ‘Hey, look, today is not going to be a day for fingerpointing’ — what are you talking about? Everyone deserves a piece of this blame pie, if you will. But let’s talk about how cowardice it is. Woj tweeted one minute after the game that Frank Vogel was fired, and then you want to sit here and talk about trust and this and that. The Lakers didn’t even have the decency to inform the coach that won them a championship 18 months ago that they were going to let him go.
“When I look at this franchise right now and the state that they’re in — forget on the court and the disarray. … The Laker organization is in utter disarray before we even start talking about on the court. On the court is a whole other issue, but off the court, this is just utter disarray and it’s disrespectful what they did to Frank Vogel.”
Jefferson is right. Vogel probably knew he was getting fired, but to see the news leak out via the media immediately after his final game stings. The fact that he then had to face the media and answer questions about that report, all while the Lakers had yet to officially tell him anything, is downright disrespectful.
Vogel won a title for the Lakers in 2020, and he was not in charge of building a roster that did not work. He may have deserved his fate, but he also deserved a much more respectful exit.