Los Angeles Lakers extend contract of coach Frank Vogel

2021 NBA Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
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Before Frank Vogel took the job as the Lakers coach, Tyronn Lue had gone fairly deep into the interview process — and was the choice of LeBron James, who had played for Lue in Cleveland. However, the Lakers were only offering a three-year contract (four or five is the standard) and wanted to put Jason Kidd in as the lead assistant. Lue walked away from those terms, and interviews with Monty Williams also faltered.

Frank Vogel accepted the terms and went on to win an NBA championship in his first year, but even that didn’t earn him a contract extension.

Until now. The Lakers announced that Vogel’s contract has been extended beyond this upcoming season (his third and final on the original deal). The terms and length of that extension have not yet been reported, but the Lakers avoided having a lame-duck coach trying to lead a team with some big egos.

Vogel has been egoless and a good fit as Lakers coach (even his first introductory press conference was mostly about GM Rob Pelinka responding to Magic Johnson, who had called him a backstabber, Vogel just smiled and stayed out of the way). He has earned praise from LeBron, and his buy-in brings the other players in line.

Vogel has instilled a defense-first mentality with the Lakers, who had the best defense in the NBA last season and were third in the team’s title year. That will be his biggest challenge this coming season, many of the Lakers’ key offseason roster additions — Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, and the list goes on — are minus defenders. Trevor Ariza, at age 36, is the Lakers’ best perimeter defender outside LeBron. Vogel will have his work cut out for him, but he’s been able to coax good defense out of guys not exactly known for it before.

Vogel earned this extension, and the Lakers were wise to give it to him and not have lame-duck coach drama adding to the list of things swirling around this team.