Frank Vogel reveals truth of Lakers reportedly voting to end season after protest
After the Milwaukee Bucks protested their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, multiple reports stated that the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers were opposed to finishing out the 2020 playoffs.
However, according to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, his team never voted to stop the playoffs despite the emotions and back-and-forth talk which took place during the heated players meeting at Walt Disney World.
“For three days we were unsure. I know our (Lakers) group always had the intent to finish this thing, finish this out. Obviously, we had a couple guys that were heavier-hearted on the social justice issues, so while all that was going on, I thought there was potential for us to not finish, but I just knew where our particular team and our leadership was, there was a desire to finish. So, I always felt like it would get done,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said on ESPN Radio, via SB Nation’s Silver Screen and Roll.
“When that report came out that quote-unquote ‘the Clippers and the Lakers voted to not finish the season,’ I was shocked, I was floored, I didn’t really understand it. We met with some of our guys to get their perspective and it was really just like an unofficial poll of like how (they were) feeling in the moment, you know what I mean? I think some more conversations continued to happen and it became clear that we were all interested in staying to play.”
Lakers star LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul had a conversation with former United States President Barack Obama after Blake was shot by police officers and paralyzed from the waist down.
After that heart-to-heart talk with Pres. Obama, James and Paul, the Players Association president, decided to resume the 2020 playoffs.
The Lakers wound up defeating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in six games for the franchise’s 17th championship. James won his fourth title and fourth Finals MVP, while Vogel captured his first NBA ring as a head coach in his debut campaign with the Lakers.