The Los Angeles Lakers’ leadership chose to part ways with head coach Frank Vogel at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, citing the need for a new voice to justify the decision.
L.A. finished the season with a 33-49 record, missing out on the Play-In Tournament. For the majority of the 2021-22 campaign, the Lakers seemed lethargic and lacked chemistry on the floor, derailing their title pursuit alongside the many injuries the team suffered.
To address the effort issues, Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka said Vogel’s successor must have a “strong voice” to inspire players to compete in every game.
“I think in answering that I want to make sure that no part of that is a knock or disparagement towards Frank because every coaching candidate is unique with their skillset,” Pelinka said. “So this is not an analysis of him whatsoever, and I want to be clear about that. But in terms of what this team needs right now, we feel like obviously with superstars on our team, we want a strong voice that’s able to inspire the players to play at the highest level of competition every night.
“And I think that’s gonna be one of the resounding qualities that we look for in terms of holding everybody from the top player on our team to the 15th man to a degree of accountability. And that’s gonna be one of the most important characteristics that I think jumps out today.”
Pelinka admitted the 2021-22 roster “did not work” and to repair last year’s mistakes, he said the new head coach and the front office will need to have a “strong alignment” regarding roster decisions.
“We did not have the season that our fans expect and we have to fix those things,” he said. “And I think one of the things that we’ve done and will do as we look to hiring a new coach is to include that coach in the process of how to make a roster work together and I think in terms of the future decisions that we have to make about our roster, some of those will come once we pick our coach which will clearly be before free agency in July.
“But there has to be a strong alignment between coach and GM in terms of roster decisions. That said, I don’t think every time you make a roster decision you’re gonna make a perfect one or have no mistakes, that’s just part of making choices. But there will be a strong sense of collaboration on our future roster decisions as there was with Frank in his tenure here.”
Pelinka added the Lakers will take a meticulous approach when choosing the next head coach to make sure they pick the right person for the job.
“I think it’s gonna be a very methodical process and I think the principles here are not to pick an end date and say ‘hey, we have to have someone by this date.’ I think we want to find the right person, that’s the most important thing,” the general manager said.
“I think, all things considered, it would be great to have someone in place by the draft. But our process will be thorough and methodical. We haven’t even begun to put together a list or discuss who the replacement is.
“We wanted to make a commitment to finishing the season strong last night, which we were able to do, and not skip steps and kind of turn to those decisions once the season was over starting today.”
Lakers’ handling of Vogel’s firing reportedly put off Jazz’s Quin Snyder
The Utah Jazz’s head coach, Quin Snyder, has reportedly been mentioned among the Lakers’ favorites to take over from Vogel. However, Snyder is believed to have become less interested in the job because of the way L.A. handled Vogel’s firing.
Reports about the Lakers head coach’s departure came out just after they beat the Denver Nuggets in the last game of the season on Sunday and before the decision was shared with Vogel.
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