The Los Angeles Lakers saw talks with Tyronn Lue go south on Wednesday, and will now interview Frank Vogel for their head coaching job at their practice facility in El Segundo on Thursday, according to Broderick Turner of The L.A. Times.
Vogel is just one of a few names the Lakers will target as part of their second head coaching search, with Lionel Hollins, Mike Woodson, Jason Kidd and Juwan Howard also expected to be considered. Only Kidd and Howard have interviewed previously.
As recently as Monday, Vogel — a former advance scout for the Lakers — was widely considered the favorite to get the lead assistant position under Lue, but it seems now that the team’s negotiations with Lue have flamed out, Vogel will actually be a candidate for the main job. Our own Christian Rivas rounded up Vogel’s resume well in his story on Vogel being a potential lead assistant from back when that development was first reported:
Vogel was fired by the Magic last year after going 54-110 in the two seasons he served as their head coach. However, before Vogel’s brief, disappointing stint in Orlando, he was one of the most successful head coaches in the Eastern Conference with the Indiana Pacers.
During his six seasons in Indiana, Vogel finished with a winning record of 250-181 and never finished lower than fourth place in the standings. He also had a decent amount of playoff success, leading Paul George and the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals twice only to lose to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
A large part of his sustained success had to do with his defensive mind. In two of the six seasons Vogel was in Indiana, the Pacers had the best defense in the league. They never finished lower than 12th in defensive efficiency during his tenure, according to NBA.com.
Vogel would clearly be a decent candidate for the gig given his success in Indiana, but his failure in Orlando with largely the same roster that Steve Clifford led to a playoff spot this year is enough to give reason for pause. Still, all the candidates in this new search have flaws, so we’ll just have to see who the Lakers ultimately decide is best for them, even if it’s not immediately clear that this group is qualified to make such a call.