Lakers dismiss Vogel after failing to make playoffs
The Los Angeles Lakers dismissed head coach Frank Vogel, the team announced Monday.
"Frank is a great coach and a good man. We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship," Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement.
"This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point. All of us here wish Frank and his wonderful family all the best for the future."
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is reportedly the Lakers' top target to replace Vogel, while Michigan bench boss Juwan Howard is also expected to emerge as a candidate. No other Lakers coaching staff members have been dismissed yet, league sources told ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
Vogel coached the Lakers to the 2020 NBA championship inside the Disney World bubble. The former Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers bench boss went a combined 126-98 over three seasons in L.A., including two trips to the postseason.
Injuries to the team's biggest stars ultimately derailed Vogel's third campaign with the Lakers. Despite missing Anthony Davis for 18 consecutive games following the All-Star break, the club remained in the hunt for the play-in tournament.
However, L.A.'s year fell apart for good after LeBron James sprained his ankle in a March 27 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. James would then play in just one of the Lakers' remaining seven contests, a stretch that included an eight-game losing streak that ultimately relegated the team to 11th place in the Western Conference.
L.A. finished the year with a 33-49 record - the franchise's first losing campaign since 2018-19 and James' first with the team.