Frank Vogel got his Lakers head coaching career off to a great start on Monday, all things considered. He said all of the right things so far, and those things were easy to buy into because of the success he’s enjoyed as a head coach over the last nine years.
However, there’s still the looming question of whether or not he and LeBron James will get along. Vogel is a qualified head coach, but he has less or a relationship with James than some of the other candidates the Lakers interviewed — candidates like Tyronn Lue, who coached James to his third NBA championship in 2016, and Juwan Howard, who won a championship with James both as a player and a coach. In that regard, Vogel lacks experience.
But Vogel is still confident that he can build strong relationships with James and the rest of the Lakers’ roster upon his arrival in Los Angeles. During a recent interview on Fox Sports Radio’s “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” Vogel talked about how he plans to build trust with James:
“The same way you do with all your players. You treat them with respect, you make sure that you’re challenging them, and pushing them, and showing them that you’re going to put them in an environment where they’re going to be at their best. And we’re going to tie everything together with everything else that has to happen to build a winner.”
Vogel has already spoken to James once, and according to him, they’re both excited about the upcoming season:
“I’m not going to get too into detail on the conversations that I’ve had with LeBron, but I would say that stuff is real in my experience with competing against him, and understanding the way that the league has changed in the last two years, and the plan that’s going to go in place for LeBron is really rock-solid. All that stuff just gives me a world of confidence in what we can accomplish.”
Does that mean the noise surrounding Vogel and James will get any quieter as the season goes on? Probably not, but Vogel is going into all of this with the right mindset.
If that positive mindset can translate to wins early in the season, then there’s reason to believe Vogel and James won’t have a healthy a working relationship.
If it doesn’t ... well:
Jason Kidd when he’s promoted to head coach next summer: pic.twitter.com/wS1iGUbwEg— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) May 22, 2019