Tuesday morning began with a report from The Athletic that Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was being evaluated on a game-to-game basis, and coaching for his job moving forward. Veteran NBA insider Marc Stein followed up with a column on his Substack saying he’d heard the same, with one source insisting to Stein that change was coming “because ‘the Lakers are not a stay-the-course kind of team’ when things are going bad.”
But it seems that change may not be imminent, even if it is still probably coming eventually, as Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times just reported that the Lakers have “no current plans” to fire Vogel:
Breaking: There are "no current plans" to replace Frank Vogel, per a source with knowledge of the situation. More details/story coming later.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 18, 2022
This does not necessarily mean that Vogel is out of the woods. How public and ugly all this has gotten ensures that nothing is off the table, and the next few games the Lakers play — and how hard the players play in them — will tell us a lot about Vogel’s job security.
Still, it’s not actually all that surprising to hear this. For one thing, the front office was always going to push back publicly on the idea that they were going to fire Vogel midseason. A leak that they are not currently planning to ax him is hardly an inspiring vote of confidence, and likely still means that Vogel’s departure from the team he won the 2020 title with is still more of a matter of “when” than “if.” There is just no part of this saga — from the one-year lame duck extension, to rumors about his job security that have swirled since the start of the year — that have suggested otherwise, or that the Lakers value Vogel all that highly.
But all that noted, the Lakers surely realize that firing Vogel at midseason may not actually fix the issues with this team. It’s still hard to believe he’ll last through the summer, based on how messily all this has gone down in the press all season, but firing him 44 games into the campaign while the team has been ravaged by injuries just never made a ton of sense.
That’s not to say Vogel is blameless, or that he’s completely safe moving forward, but it probably does mean that cooler heads are probably prevailing. At least for now.
This breaking news story may be updated with more information and analysis as it continues to develop. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.