Frank Vogel has had quite the year.
After being fired by the Orlando Magic and taking a season off from the NBA, he was in the running to be an assistant coach to Tyronn Lue on the Lakers’ staff for the 2019-20 season, and instead ended up earning the head coaching job. He won 24 of his first 27 games, received Coach of the Month honors in November, and helped to build the most imposing defense in the league en route to his first NBA championship.
Still, there is one accolade that Vogel will not be adding to his increasingly-decorated resume: Movie star.
LeBron James is starring in and producing Space Jam 2, which is scheduled for a 2021 release, but Vogel confirmed on ESPN’s “The Lowe Post” podcast with Zach Lowe that he will not be appearing in the film:
“Nope. (laughs) I have not asked. I’m not really interested. If I was asked, I would do whatever they wanted, but I’ve not tried to pursue that at all... I’m a basketball coach (laughs).”
As Vogel notes, he didn’t ask, so it’s not like James denied him a part in the movie. However, the two hadn’t yet developed a bond when the film was casting, so Vogel may have felt uncomfortable reaching out for a favor so early in their relationship. A similar situation transpired with Alex Caruso, who admitted that he probably would have gotten the nod to be in Space Jam 2 (or another SpringHill Entertainment Production) a couple years down line. The only current Laker who is expected to be in the film alongside James is Anthony Davis, who was already friendly with James before arriving in Los Angeles.
If the script of this movie resembles the Michael Jordan version, the Tune Squad doesn’t actually need a coach — James will probably fill that role. But it’s too bad Vogel won’t be in the film, because we know that he pops on screen and has the showmanship to excel in Hollywood.
Unfortunately, this also means that Vogel will forever be one notch below Del Harris on the pantheon of Lakers head coaches, because Harris had a memorable appearance in the original 1996 film. Harris is also a Hall of Famer, so he has that going for him as well.
Vogel should have a long tenure ahead of him in Los Angeles given the success of his first year. If he ever does change his mind, he will have time to squeeze in a few movies while he’s here.