The Los Angeles Lakers came into the 2021-22 NBA season with championship aspirations. When they failed to make the playoffs altogether, head coach Frank Vogel was the first domino to drop.
For weeks, a debate has raged regarding what role if any Russell Westbrook played in Vogel’s firing. After all, it is the worst kept secret in the league that they didn’t get along.
This week, an answer emerged.
As it turns out, Westbrook played a surprisingly considerable part in the decision.
“When the decision was made to fire Vogel, sources say his handling of Westbrook and the inability to find a way to make him a more productive part of the program were among the factors that played a big part,” reported Sam Amick of The Athletic.
“There was a strong sense that it was on Vogel to make the Westbrook experiment work, and the fact that it didn’t led to questions about whether Westbrook had been put in a position to succeed.”
It will be interesting to see where the Lakers go from here. The front office is actively working to fill the vacancy left behind by Vogel’s firing, with mixed results.
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder has made his feelings on the position abundantly clear. Ditto for Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers. That leaves one obvious frontrunner for the job – but it’s unclear how viable of an option he truly is.
Beyond that, the roster is also very much up in the air. Talk regarding a possible Anthony Davis trade is growing increasingly louder. James seems to be scoping out which team he wants to land with next. Westbrook is as crazy as ever.
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 5, 2022
How will the Lakers ultimately look in 2022-23, and who will lead them?
Time will tell.