The Los Angeles Lakers let championship-winning coach Frank Vogel go after the Lakers' season came to an end yesterday with the team sitting as the 11th seed and missing out on the post-season completely.
Another thing that went wrong for the Lakers was the acquisition of Russell Westbrook over the summer. The Lakers gave up a lot of their depth and valuable championship players like Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Washington Wizards to get Westbrook. However, Westbrook didn't fit in on the court in the Lakers' playing style and he suffered all season because of it.
The Lakers held their exit interviews for all players earlier today and Westbrook was asked a whole host of questions, ranging from his upcoming player option on his contract to Coach Vogel. Russ had a very interesting thing to say about Vogel while describing their relationship.
A lot of things about the Lakers caused them to implode. However, it seems like the Westbrook-Vogel relationship failed from day one. There have been stories of Frank having to bench Westbrook despite Russ not wanting the same for himself. A lot of frustration has bubbled over, but Russ probably still gave an answer as diplomatic as he could control it.
The Lakers have an extensive coaching search to carry out and find a coach that can use the talents of a player like Westbrook alongside LeBron and Anthony Davis. In addition, they also need to find the right roster pieces to complete this team.
The competitive balance of the NBA is as equal across the league as we have seen it in recent years, so the challenge for the Lakers to actually contend again while LeBron is still an active player is going to be massive. Hopefully, the new coach can figure out how to fit in Westbrook, as it looks like LeBron and AD want him to stay.