Sport Report: Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Had Approval to Bench Russell Westbrook Down Stretch in Loss
LeBron James apologizes to Lakers fans, promises the team will fix things
LeBron James knows the Lakers haven’t been good enough, and he’s vowing to fix that.Things were so bad that LeBron James skipped his customary postgame media availability, a surefire sign he didn’t want to answer questions about “if this team can ultimately make things work” or “if this was the new worst loss of the season” again, queries the team has given the local press plenty of reasons to ask this year. Even if it’s also easy to understand, on a human level, why James didn’t feel like answering them again.
This, as Frank Vogel's job is reportedly in jeopardy.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel has been told by the team's management to coach star guard Russell Westbrook as he sees fit,, even if it means benching Westbrook at the end of games.
ESPN's report on the assurances given to Vogel by the front office comes after Westbrook was pulled for the final 3:52 of Los Angeles' 111–104 loss the Pacers on Wednesday night.
Westbrook logged 14 points on 5 for 17 shooting in 27 minutes on Wednesday night.
after the loss that despite the Lakers being 1–4 in their last five games and 22–23 on the season, the team will not be making a personnel move at this juncture and Vogel will coach the team on Friday vs. the Magic.
Russell Westbrook actually had fun in Lakers' win over the Jazz; will it turn his season around?
Good morning, Los Angeles. How are the vibes this morning? Are you feeling a little less tension in your shoulders and neck after the Lakers defeated the Jazz? These two teams (both carrying names that greatly misrepresent the city they moved to after relocating from…These two teams (both carrying names that greatly misrepresent the city they moved to after relocating from previous locations) faced off to close the slate of excellent basketball games held on Martin Luther King Day. The Lakers had lost three games in a row coming into the match and the vibes were so bad that LeBron James had to apologize to fans.
"The coaching staff has been great,” star forward LeBron James said after the loss. “They put us in position to succeed and it’s up to us to go out and handle the business. So, there’s always things we all can do better.”
Asked, however, if Westbrook was unhappy about being benched, James replied, “Have you followed Russ’ career?”
that Vogel's status as the Lakers coach was in jeopardy amid the team's recent struggles. Per The Athletic, Vogel is under fire more than ever before and is coaching for his job, having nearly been fired following Los Angeles' 37-point loss to the Nuggets on Saturday.
Vogel agreed to a contract extension with the Lakers in August, after having amassed a 94—49 regular-season record in his first two seasons with the team. He has also recorded a 18—9 record in the postseason with the Lakers, having guided Los Angeles to the 17th championship in franchise history.
Sources: Lakers not planning to fire Frank Vogel as team continues slide
The Los Angeles Lakers will not be making a personnel move at this juncture and Frank Vogel will travel with the team tomorrow to coach in Orlando on Friday, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Vogel's job security has been a topic of speculation recently as the Lakers have four of their last five games, including a 111-104 defeat to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday in Los Angeles. In that loss, offseason acquisition Russell Westbrook was benched late in the game. Vogel told reporters after the game that he chose to play "the guys that I thought were going to win the game." Westbrook left the bench before the end of the game and did not speak to the media.
However, with a roster that has dealt with injuries and has limited flexibility, Los Angeles currently sits tied for seventh in the Western Conference.
Per The Athletic, the organization’s decision-makers are closely monitoring the key question of whether Vogel still has command of the locker room. In late November,how there was increasing buzz in coaching circles about increasing pressure on Vogel following the team's 10–10 start to the year.
Lakers-Magic is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.
More NBA Coverage:
- All Lakers:
For more coverage of the Lakers, visit.
Anthony Davis sparkles in Philadelphia but Lakers supporting cast provides no assistance .
Anthony Davis returned to form in his second game back from injury, finishing with 31 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in 34 minutes, but if the Lakers are to capitalize off his strong play, they'll need some help from other sources as well. NBA League Pass: Sign up to unlock live out-of-market games (7-day free trial) Davis returned two nights ago in a win over the Nets in Brooklyn after missing 17 games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Starting at center, his return was a welcome sight for Lakers fans who have seen their ball club hover around the .500 mark for the majority of the season. Davis had not played since Dec.