Everything isn’t quite coming up Milhouse for the Los Angeles Lakers as of late. Following the team’s failure to make their way into the playoffs, Luke Walton parted ways with the franchise after a three-year run as the team’s head coach. The goal for the Lakers was to bring in a recognizable name with prior success to replace Walton.
At the start of their search, then-76ers assistant coach Monty Williams was the top target to take over. The Lakers’ position was his for the taking, but Williams eventually opted for a five-year contract taking over the young, but raw Phoenix Suns team.
With Williams out of the running for the L.A., Rob Pelinka and the rest of the front office have been left rushing to find a viable candidate for the job. Ty Lue was thought to be all but a lock, but was quickly dismissed as the team continued their search. Names like Jason Kidd and J.B. Bickerstaff have swirled as possible answers to the team’s vacancy, but only now are they considering someone who could likely be the best candidate available.
Here are three reasons that Frank Vogel is the ideal next head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.
3. He has a proven track record
Frank Vogel has eight seasons of experience as an NBA head coach, as well as eight as an assistant. As a head coach, he spent six seasons with the Indiana Pacers and two with the Orlando Magic. Vogel struggled to find success with Orlando, winning less than 30 games in both his seasons with the team, but his time with Indiana is indicative of his ability to lead a team to success.
Through those six seasons, Vogel only had one season under .500. Vogel and the Pacers worked their way into the postseason five times while he was there, as well, including two appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lakers would be acquiring a coach who knows what it takes to win and is familiar with the journey of the playoffs in Frank Vogel.
2. He brings a strong identity
Through his six seasons as head coach in Indiana, Vogel had his team performing as an elite defense regularly. The Pacers owned a top 10 defensive rating in his last five season with the team and the best defense in the league for back to back seasons. Coaching his teams to be excellent on the defensive end is his calling card, and this would make sense for the Lakers.
Last season, Los Angeles was the 12th best defense in the league, and when the team was winning, their defense was a large reason for this. The team tried to play a different style of offense at different times in the season, but with LeBron James on the roster, it is difficult to vary from playing James on-ball and having him initiate the offense.
Establishing a sturdy defensive identity is what this team needs, especially if this roster sees the return of their young players like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.
1. He is a quiet personality
Vogel may be fiery at times on the sideline, but he is otherwise fairly quiet. This shouldn’t be the sole determining factor for the Lakers in their search for a head coach, but it is hard to imagine this wouldn’t be a plus.
With plenty of drama last season alone and continued theatrics into the offseason (even for the Lakers that was a sad protest), bringing aboard a coach who won’t soak up a ton of camera time or be dishing out headlines left and right that compromise the team’s trust would be a refreshing change of pace.