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Report: Vogel's failure to integrate Westbrook factored into firing

MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images / MediaNews Group / Getty

The Los Angeles Lakers fired former head coach Frank Vogel partly due to his inability to properly integrate Russell Westbrook into the team, sources told The Athletic's Sam Amick.

Vogel was given the responsibility of making the Westbrook experiment work, and its failure led to questions about whether Vogel put the player in a position to succeed, Amick reports.

Westbrook averaged 18.5 points per game, the lowest mark since his sophomore campaign. After spending 11 years in Oklahoma City, the nine-time All-Star has played for three teams in as many seasons.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Westbrook only appeared together in 21 games this season. Vogel said in April prior to his firing that the lineups featuring Westbrook, another star, and role players didn't perform well enough, which led to the 14-year vet being benched in fourth quarters.

Westbrook stated in April that he felt that he wasn't given a fair opportunity in his first season.

Vogel was dismissed on April 11 after three years at the helm. Despite leading the squad to a championship in 2020, Los Angeles failed to reach further championship expectations the following two campaigns, missing the playoffs altogether this season and getting bounced in the first round last postseason.

Former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson is advising the franchise in its search for a new head coach, with Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham and Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin two of the names in consideration.

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