Vogel was hired after the Suns fired coach Monty Williams, who is now with the Detroit Pistons. Frank Vogel won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 2020 and is known to be an effective defensive coach.
Tuesday, Suns president of basketball operations and general manager James Jones and majority owner Mat Ishbia, who was interviewed by Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, each offered their perspective on Vogel's hiring.
“We set out a few years ago to become a franchise that many would call elite, and we’ve taken some steps toward our goal of winning a championship,” Jones said. “But as we look forward, we needed another leader, someone that could elevate us to the next level. And through this process, after talking to many great candidates, many amazing coaches, we settled on the guy who we think has all the qualities: leadership, honesty, integrity, championship experience, a love for the game, a passion for the community. Those are the attributes and the traits that Frank embodied.”
Ishbia said in his radio interview Vogel was the “clear-cut, obvious choice.”
“Frank Vogel was the guy, and I knew it from the minute he walked out of the room after doing the two to three-hour interview we spent time with that he was the guy,” Ishbia said. “All aspects of it. The type of person he is, first: a leader, a culture guy, a communicator, a championship pedigree. He’s won and he’s also won with two superstars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and he’s also won very recently.
“Then, you start talking about the defense, you start talking about the Xs and Os, you start talking about the player development. You start talking about all these things, and the kind of guy that’s going to attract other great coaches and other players that want to be there. He just checked all the boxes.”
Vogel will look to lead the Suns to their first-ever championship, an opportunity he said he will embrace.
Phoenix has two superstars, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, who are considered some of the best scorers in the NBA.
Under Williams, the Suns advanced to the 2021 NBA Finals and won a franchise-best 64 games in 2021-22. After trading for Durant and falling in six games to the Western Conference champion Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals, the Suns felt they needed a change.
Jones said he learned even more about Vogel, who coached against him and the Miami Heat with the Indiana Pacers in the 2013 and 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, beyond his known strengths.
“I was expecting him to be rough and tough,” Jones said. “But what you find is that he’s extremely well-balanced. And an underrated trade is, he’s a guy that knows how to bring the toughness out of you without barking, without screaming, without pushing. And he gets you to believe that you’re tough, even if you aren’t until you actually start doing it. So those have been the conversations that we’ve had about the approach to get the result that you want in an unconventional way. Because we all know that it’s extremely, extremely difficult to do the things that we want to do. But he just has a great way about him of making it fun, making it a joyous activity to do hard things.”