The Glamorous Lakers' Unlikely Leader

ESPN Daily


So Kevin. In spite of being blown out the other day in Boston the Lakers are still the number one seed in the West and everything is sunshine and rapes around the staple center but a year ago. It felt like there was a storm cloud hanging over the franchise. I had magic Johnson. President Basketball Operations nations stepping down team fired their head coach. Luke Walton and then they chose Frank Vogel as his replacement awesome and there was a perception around here in Los Angeles that it was a pretty uninspired choice right in some ways frank. Vogel is the Ultimate Safety School. So for the Los Angeles Lakers Kevin Arnovitz is an NBA insider for ESPN. They went after Monty Williams former player who has immense amount of respect but at the end of the day he got a much more appealing offer from the Phoenix Suns. Tai Lue was a top choice. Lebron's former coach NBA Championship. Cleveland Cavaliers in two thousand sixteen. And what are the Lakers. Do they offer him a contract that I think it's fair to say was. Maybe not befitting a championship coach. There's sort of a standard now for for what a NBA coach gets in terms of the years in terms of money and this particular contract offer fell far short of that to the point where I think the public certainly the perception within the League was here of the Lakers doing it again. They think they're the Lakers. They have this golden or around them they can just offer championship. Coach is his deals. That don't reflect that pedigree so they don't get money Williams tyler walks not for another job. He just walks and they get Vogel. I used to do a lot of L. A.. Sports Radio and I remember this announcement very vividly. Los Angeles Lakers fans. They were not happy. Happy Kevin in fact they were furious. Vogel I think at the outset was seen as an odd choice for a number of reasons. One one is. The Lakers are the Lakers. And they have traditionally gone after coaches. That are either real brand names or have this royal. LAKER occur bloodline they are part of the Laker family. So here comes Vogel who is coming off. Two year stint in Orlando where he lost twice as many games as he won one could say no fault of his own. It was it was a young mismatch roster of players. But he doesn't have a brand name he looks like an accountant announced he's never played in the NBA before so he doesn't bring with him. The story playing career so for a fan base and a franchise. That's always been very brand obsessed. Why are you getting this off? Brand coach was very much. I think the perception an off Branko. Now I'm imagining frank. Vogel at the Grocery store he's like the generic. I Love Kirkland. I I think that sets up this story very well because you great value. Oh you use the Kirkland of coaches and of course. The Lakers are widely perceived as his ex hyper glamorous NBA franchise in particular with Lebron James. They're going into an off season in which they're going to be trying to get free agents. This is before the trade for Anthony Davis and here comes maybe the least glamorous coach forget fans for a second just people inside the game fifteen choices of who is going to be. The next Lakers head coach. I don't I don't know that Frank Vogel would have been on one ballot. I'm not saying Bogle can't coach Lebron's right that's different. So how did he get start. Frank Vogel got his start by by being a pest he was division three point guard for a genie out of college and he became obsessed with Kentucky basketball when he was at home on winter. Break when you're watching that famous Duke Kentucky lightning later catches He decides I want to be part a big time college basketball. He's going to leave his division three school. He writes letters to the staff at Kentucky including Rick Pitino and they basically send back a form letter. Thank you for your interest. This is in the mid nineties so he decides. I'm just going to drop out of my college enroll at Kentucky. I'm GONNA drive there. Basically without an invitation nation. And I'm just going to hang around the facility. Whatever anything I can do to get inside volunteer? Whatever they need and little by little sure enough he hangs around enough due to the point? Where Jim O'Brien who was assistant to Rick Pitino said Okay Okay? We'll we have the video room. which at the time video rooms have become like the very sexy place to get your start as a coach? Now Erik Spoelstra Mike Putin Holzer Dave Fidel but back then it was still kind of a newish thing and so he just camped out in the video room and essentially became one of the best young video coordinators in all of basketball and to the point when when Pitino went to the Celtics they ultimately brought. Frank Vogel Oh go along with them. And then when O'Brien took over he promoted him again and so little by little. He's sort of the He's the kind of the little engine that could of basketball. So he dollars. O'Brien to Indianapolis. And that's where he gets his first shot as head coach. How does that go right? He gets to the Fr- what we call. The Front of the bench comes a top assistant in an Indiana Under Jim O'Brien O'Brien gets fired and Vogel's the next Guy Up Larry Bird actually ask Joe. Brian looked this. Guy's really loyal to you. Do you think you take the job. and Jim O'Brien profane. Lee said absolutely

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