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Frank Vogel says he knew Lakers were in trouble during preseason

It did not take the Los Angeles Lakers long this season to show people that they were not a championship contender, but former head coach Frank Vogel may have accepted that unfortunate truth long before anyone else.

During an appearance on the “Locked on Lakers” podcast this week, Bill Oram of The Athletic recalled one of the most interesting parts from his recent exclusive interview with Vogel. He said he asked Vogel when the coach knew the Lakers might be in trouble, and Vogel said there were signs before the season even began.

“I remember how I asked him this question. I said, ‘When did you first pick up on that this was not going to be as smooth sailing as you thought? What was the first domino of all the things to go wrong?’ He went back to the preseason,” Oram recalled. “He said when (Russell Westbrook) and (Anthony Davis) played, before LeBron ever played, it didn’t look good. That’s before they lost a single game in the regular season. Very telling, very damning, and I think that reflects really poorly on the decision-makers.”

Vogel told Oram in that interview that he was very concerned when the Lakers were “getting killed in the preseason.” He said people have a tendency to dismiss those meaningless exhibition games, but he still felt the poor chemistry was an ominous sign.

The Lakers had the oldest roster by average age in the NBA this season. Almost everyone expected that to be an issue for them, and it was. No coach would have been able to contend with the team the Lakers put together, which is why Charles Barkley and others have blasted them for using Vogel as a scapegoat.

If Vogel knew the Lakers had serious issues before the season even began, he may also have known he would not be their coach much longer.

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