NBA News: Two years before Westbrook came, Vogel won a championship. Read the article for this NBA News.
Frank Vogel is towards the bottom of most lists when it comes to blaming for the Lakers’ poor season. While his performance was far from perfect. The prevailing belief is that he should not be held responsible for the catastrophic squad assembled by his front office.
After all, trading for Russell Westbrook was not his idea. He didn’t choose to assemble a team of ten minimum-wage players. Nonetheless, he is now claiming responsibility. He was dismissed shortly after the season finished. And his handling of the Westbrook problem, according to The Athletic, was a major factor in his dismissal.
“There was a strong sense that it was on Vogel to make the Westbrook experiment work”. According to The Athletic, “and the fact that it didn’t lead to doubts about whether Westbrook had been put in a position to succeed”. This argument falls apart under any investigation.
The Lakers understood going into the season that Westbrook was a bad shooter and a sluggish cutter and that he would struggle off the ball with LeBron James.
They also knew he was a bad defender, so integrating him into Vogel’s defense-first mentality was always going to be difficult. To put it another way, the Lakers are criticizing Vogel for things that no other coach has been able to convince him to accomplish.
NBA News: Vogel was fired soon after the season ended
The cynical argument is that the front-office decision-makers who fired Vogel were looking for a scapegoat to save their own careers. However, if you follow the breadcrumbs here, you may ask why the Lakers would attempt to disclose pro-Westbrook views. There are a few options, some of which are more promising than others.
In the best-case scenario, the Lakers are aiming to gain some sort of advantage. Stories like this don’t help their case when it comes to prospective Westbrook deals.
The Lakers want other teams to think they can keep Westbrook without losing significant draught capital. In the hopes that this assumption will help them to avoid a Westbrook deal.
The other scenario is that the Lakers have already decided not to use substantial draught resources to transfer Westbrook, and they are utilizing the media to prepare fans for the potential that he may return next season.
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson has had a voice in club issues in recent years. And is involved in the current coaching search, and is a fan of Westbrook, according to Sam Amick.