Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he’s not worried about Jason Kidd undermining him.
“I did feel support right from the start from LeBron,” Vogel said. “He’s always shown me a great deal of respect dating back to our battles when I was in Indiana and competing with the Heat in the conference finals, and coaching him in the All-Star Game. He’s always shown me a great deal of respect, so I felt like there would be a lot of support, and there was immediately and that’s continued on through up to this point. Hopefully we can work together to build something special.”
Since establishing himself as a superstar, LeBron has clashed with all his coaches – Mike Brown, Erik Spoelstra, David Blatt, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton. It won’t help Vogel that the coach LeBron seemingly meshed best with was Lue, whom the Lakers could’ve hired.
Vogel should expect rough patches with LeBron. LeBron is smart enough to have his own good ideas about how to run the team. He’ll sometimes run roughshod over his coach. He’ll sometimes passive-aggressively try to get his way. But he won’t automatically follow his coach because that’s the traditional power structure. LeBron has the power.
Vogel’s model should be Spoelstra. Though LeBron was initially skeptical, Spoelstra won LeBron over by coaching well. That took years, and there’s a lot of pressure on the Lakers this season. It won’t be easy.
But that’s the job Vogel signed up for.