As the Los Angeles Lakers continue their search for their next head coach, it seems — at least on the surface — as though Frank Vogel will have as decent of a shot as any of their second round of candidates, as Adrian Wojnarowski and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN are reporting that the team liked what they saw from him during his job interview on Thursday:
ESPN reporting with @NotoriousOHM: Former Orlando and Indiana coach Frank Vogel made a strong impression on Lakers in his interview and sides are expected to talk again on head coaching job. Story soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2019
Their report later offered a few more details on Vogel’s interview:
After the Lakers top two targets, Monty Williams and Ty Lue rejected the franchise’s offers, the Lakers reset their search and Vogel is emerging as a serious candidate, sources said. Vogel flew to Los Angeles on Thursday and met with Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and his front office and had detailed discussions on how he’d approach the possibility of taking over what has become a volatile situation.
That’s pretty nonspecific, but while we don’t know exactly what Vogel did to impress the team, but he is also not alone, as the Lakers have leaked this — almost verbatim — about just about everyone to interview so far.
Don’t believe me? Well, there was how Juwan Howard “impressed” the team during his first sit-down with the front office, or how Tyronn Lue “left a lasting impression” with management and ownership during his own meeting. Or how about them finding Monty Williams “forthright and very likable”?
Even Jason Kidd was sold as also making “a strong impression” during his interview — literally the exact same phrasing — and that was apparently real enough that the Lakers were trying to force Lue to hire him for player development reasons. The only candidate that this hasn’t been said about yet is J.B. Bickerstaff, who only interviewed on Friday, and thus we should expect to hear about how he impressed tomorrow.
None of this is to disparage Vogel’s resume. He’s as accomplished as anyone among the leftovers of this botched search. It also doesn’t mean that Vogel couldn’t have actually made a “strong impression” on the Lakers like all those other guys did. It’s just worth contextualizing that this is what they seem to leak after every interview as a pseudo participation trophy, likely as a favor to the representation of these coaches so that even if their clients don’t get the job, everyone gets something out of it. The Lakers get to pick the brain of the coach, and the coach gets their name out there, buoys their reputation and doesn’t look as bad if the Lakers don’t pick them.
It’s a win-win, but as a result, it’s hard to know who is actually pulling away from the pack simply from stuff like this until the Lakers actually pick a coach.