Frank Vogel won’t be going anywhere. At least not for the foreseeable future, based on Jeanie Buss’ words at halftime as Tuesday night’s game.
Hours after Vogel was forced to answer questions about his job security during the pregame press conference and a day after LeBron James fielded the same questions, Lakers governor Jeanie Buss silenced all the talk in speaking with Mark Medina of NBA.com at halftime of Tuesday night’s game:
“Until we’re 100 percent healthy, I don’t think you can really make any judgment,” Buss told NBA.com at halftime of the Lakers-Celtics game on Tuesday at Staples Center.
Nonetheless, Vogel added he does not harbor any concerns about his job security and that he feels the front office supports him. Buss also noted that Vogel attended a Lakers’ season-ticket holder event on Monday night that also included Buss, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in attendance.
“We’re as connected as any organization can be,” Buss said. “I really don’t know what you’re looking for me to say. I would say until we’re 100 percent healthy, I won’t make any judgments about anything.
The talk around Vogel was largely driven by outside forces with no real ties to the Lakers showing any form of concern in his performance this season. Still, as with everything related to the Lakers, even the small talk is amplified to a larger scale.
In reality, only a few tangential links referencing coaching circles or coaching agents offered any sort of indication that Vogel’s seat was warming up. Meanwhile, on the court, the Lakers were beginning to really show signs of life, highlighted by their blowout victory of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
It was their fourth win in the last six games, pushed them back over .500 and could serve as a catapult for the team’s two-game road trip to Memphis and Oklahoma City. Not coincidentally, it all comes at a time when the Lakers are as healthy as they’ve been this season. Only Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza were listed as out on the injury report on Tuesday and the latter is nearing his return to the court.
Injuries are a viable excuse the Lakers used at the start of this season. With the roster nearly fully active, though, that excuse is soon meeting its expiration date. Tuesday showed what the team could be as it was fully envisioned this offseason, an overwhelming force when fully healthy.
Only then will Vogel be judged on his performances and results, a fair assessment of the situation for the Lakers and a head coach just shy of 14 months removed from winning the team it’s 17th banner.