Frank Vogel always felt like an example of what happens when poor process leads to positive results. He was the Lakers’ fourth choice for head coach after waiting too long on Monty Williams, lowballing Tyronne Lue, getting turned down by Juwan Howard and not wanting to be the team that gave Jason Kidd his first crack at another head coaching gig.
In hiring Darvin Ham, the Lakers not only had to find the right candidate to hopefully rebound from last year’s disappointment, but also had to show that they could do so in a way that wouldn’t make fans nervous about how the franchise is being run. This week on “The Hook,” Aaron Larsuel and I explain why we think they accomplished just that.
Yes, Vogel worked out and the Lakers won a championship, but often times, bad process can act as a great predictor of future issues. After winning said championship, Vogel was offered a farce of an extension, never got any kind of autonomy over his coaching staff, clearly never sat on the same page as the front office when it came to roster building, had to consistently hear it from Kurt feaking Rambis, and eventually his firing was reported mere minutes after last year ended.
Could anyone have seen all that coming? Clearly not. But if you paid close attention to how things went the last time the Lakers had to hire a head coach, that process should have raised some red flags that would help you figure out this organization wasn’t exactly operating at optimal levels.
This time around, though, they cast a wide net of candidates with varying backgrounds, checked in on candidates who might become available, interviewed the best coaches actually available, and then decisively hired almost objectively the top candidate on the market. Even I can’t complain about that.
Aaron and I discussed all that, a super weird story of a girl and her snake, the journalism surrounding the Lakers’ search for a head coach, game one of the NBA Finals, and, as per usual, a whole lot more.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.