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#pounditThursday, May 19, 2022

Frank Vogel’s job with Lakers may be safe for 1 big reason

Frank Vogel looking on

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has been dancing on the knife’s edge over the last several weeks, but he may finally be able to relax a bit.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported Tuesday that the Lakers have decided against replacing Vogel for the time being because they do not believe that making a coaching change will yield dramatically different results.

The Lakers are still under .500 nearly 50 games into the year. That includes losses in five of their last seven games. But the Lakers’ continued struggles are more a product of the rickety roster that they assembled during the offseason rather than anything of Vogel’s doing.

When Vogel entered health and safety protocols last month, the Lakers went just 1-5 with lead assistant David Fizdale as acting head coach. Meanwhile, the usual suspects among available veteran coaches (e.g. Mark Jackson, Steve Clifford, the Van Gundy brothers, etc.) have fallen out of favor as teams increasingly look to first-year head coaches when making changes. The Lakers do not appear to have any such young candidates who fit the bill.

Vogel’s job security had really been in doubt, even as recently as last week. But for the Lakers to fire him, they would need to have a better coach in mind, which does not seem to be the case. That may be what ultimately saves Vogel’s job.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

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