Frank Vogel fired: Lakers part ways with head coach after three seasons; GM Rob Pelinka addresses decision

Frank Vogel has coached his final game for the Los Angeles Lakers. Vogel was fired by the Lakers on Monday, the team announced. The Lakers, winners of the 2020 NBA championship under Vogel, entered the season as Western Conference favorites. They failed to live up to that mantle due to a combination of injuries, age, a poorly-built roster and mismanagement of that roster, and last Tuesday, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention. They closed the season with a 33-49 record. Now Vogel is paying the price for their failure and has been removed from his position as coach less than two years after leading the Lakers to the title.

“Today is not going to be a day of finger-pointing and unwinding all the specific reasons,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said of the decision to move on from Vogel on Monday. “We just felt organizationally, at the highest level, it was time for a new voice. … That’s not to say anything against the incredible accomplishments that Frank Vogel has had. He was a great coach here, and he’s going to go on to be a great coach somewhere else.

“This was a disappointing Lakers season at every level,” Pelinka added. “In the face of disappointment, our fans expect more, and that’s in every facet. It starts in the front office led by me, and our ability to construct the right roster. It starts with the coaches holding players accountable and making sure there’s on-court execution.”  

In truth, the Lakers were hardly committed to Vogel even when they hired him. They had initially planned to hire Ty Lue, but when they offered him only a three-year deal and demanded control over his coaching staff, he declined the offer and the Lakers turned to Vogel. He accepted the shorter contract and it paid off for all parties involved. Yet even after Vogel won a championship, he still needed to wait until after the 2020-21 season to earn a contract extension. That extension reportedly added only a single year to his deal, contracting him for only a total of four despite Lue getting a five-year deal from the Clippers before ever coaching a game for them.

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