The Los Angeles Lakers played their final game of the season last night, beating the Denver Nuggets in what was their first two-game winning “streak” since Jan. 7th. Moments after, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Frank Vogel would be informed of his firing today, ending Vogel’s three-year career with the Lakers in an extremely upsetting and disrespectful fashion.
We’re sure to get even more supportive words from different Lakers players as exit interviews start and conclude today, but before Sunday’s game against the Nuggets, Anthony Davis got ahead of it all and performed his exit interview. The OC Register’s Kyle Goon reported the following from that interview, as you have to wonder how Davis is feeling about the way that Vogel’s impending firing came out.
Anthony Davis says Frank Vogel is one of his favorite coaches he's had, that "he knows what he's doing" and "goes to war for his players." Says he feels Vogel didn't get enough chances to coach his full, healthy team.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) April 11, 2022
The timing of Wojnarowski’s Tweet, whether it was his fault or the fault of whoever leaked the news to him (which could have totally been Vogel’s representation themselves), put the Lakers players on Sunday night in an awkward position. LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Davis all did not play with Malik Monk and Austin Reaves, the heroes of the night, forced to face the media with questions surrounding this being thrust upon them when the night should have been about celebrating their great nights.
When answering questions about it, Monk and Reaves both sang Vogel’s praisies, continuing to dispel the notion from certain fans and analysts that this team mentally quit on Vogel at a point during this season.
Monk on Vogel: "I love the man. He gave me a chance…I have nothing bad to say about him because if it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't have a chance to play basketball here."
— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) April 11, 2022
"I love the man. He gave me a chance," Malik Monk said about Frank Vogel. "I have nothing bad to say about him."
Austin Reaves echoed those sentiments, expressing gratitude that Frank put him the undrafted rookie in the rotation early.
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) April 11, 2022
We will be sure to continue updating this story with additional comments about Vogel from Lakers players, as it’s nearly guaranteed that every single one will be asked about him with exit interviews proceeding today.