According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ohm Youngmisuk, Vogel has become the front-runner for the Lakers job. The organization is seemingly gathering intel on how Vogel would work with Jason Kidd, who the team is reportedly planning on hiring as Vogel’s lead assistant coach.
ESPN speculates that Vogel’s sudden emergence may be evidence of Kurt Rambis and Phil Jackson’s outsized influence on the organization.
Original story follows:
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ohm Youngmisuk, Vogel made a “strong impression” on management and is expected to get a second meeting with the Lakers’ brass. They also report that he has a serious chance at winning the job.
Vogel was originally billed to be Lue’s top assistant coach as the former Cavaliers manager attempted to build a strong, experienced staff. The Lakers, however, wanted Lue to hire Jason Kidd instead and skimped out on giving him the standard five-year offer.
Vogel last coached the Orlando Magic where his two-year tenure was disastrous. Before that, he had a very successful stretch with the Indiana Pacers which included two Eastern Conference Finals appearances against LeBron James’ Miami Heat teams.
Vogel joins Lue, Kidd and Monty Williams in reportedly making a “strong impression” on the Lakers. So far, two of those candidates have either chosen a different job or declined an offer and one has been waiting to be forced into the organization without even having a second meeting.
It seems clear that at the very least, the Lakers understand they are bungling this entire situation. All of these leaks seem to just be desperate measures to calm the fanbase down to think that the team will hire a successful head coach. No matter how they spin it, though, the Lakers missed out on the best coach on the market who was a perfect fit because they were being cheap. Now, they’re forced to look through a pile of mediocrity to find the least uninspiring option.