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Sport Report: Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Had Approval to Bench Russell Westbrook Down Stretch in Loss

18:19  20 january  2022
18:19  20 january  2022 Source:   si.com

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  Report: Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Had Approval to Bench Russell Westbrook Down Stretch in Loss © Provided by Sports Illustrated

This, as Frank Vogel's job is reportedly in jeopardy.

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Lakers coach Frank Vogel has been told by the team's management to coach star guard Russell Westbrook as he sees fit, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, 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.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported 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.

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"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?”

Earlier this week, The Athletic's Sam Amick and Bill Oram reported 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

  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, NBA reporter Marc Stein also noted 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.

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For more coverage of the Lakers, visit All Lakers.

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