The Los Angeles Lakers fired Frank Vogel this week after three seasons with the franchise.
L.A.’s disappointing 33-49 mark in 2021-22 proved to be the final straw for the front office, amidst multiple players openly disrespecting Vogel and his way of running things this past season.
Vogel’s termination ultimately drew strong reactions from people around the league.
One such person? Former Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, who won his first career championship under Vogel.
“Frank!!!! Once a champ always a champ!! Great fun run!!!” Kuzma wrote on Twitter.
Kuzma hasn’t always spoken positively of his time with the Lakers, so the fact that he took the time to so publicly praise Vogel is telling. Clearly the respect really is there.
LeBron James also struck a similar note on Tuesday following news of Vogel’s firing.
“I respect Frank as a coach, as a man,” James said. “Our partnership that we’ve had over the few years here has been nothing but candid, and great conversations. This is a guy that gives everything to the game and prepared us every single night. … I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”
It will be interesting to see where the Lakers go from here. There currently appears to be one frontrunner to take over for Vogel, but it’s unclear how much he actually wants the job.
At least Dak Prescott is winning big off the field. https://t.co/2LIlZ6hH6w
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 11, 2022
If L.A. ultimately struggles to land a prominent candidate, it will be a telling indicator of where the franchise is in many people’s eyes.
Who will ultimately step in and try to right the Lakers’ ship come 2022-23?
Time will tell.