The Los Angeles Lakers have been on a downward spiral for almost the entirety of the second half of this regular season. At various points in time, it's seemed like the problems with this team are fundamental and unlikely to change at least till the offseason. Their last 10 games have done nothing to change this perception, the Lakers are 2-8 in this stretch.
Fingers can be pointed in a lot of directions, but the main issue that has been identified is that with roster construction. Lately, though, it's been more about the lack of energy and hustle on the court, with even LeBron James showing his frustration at the lack of spirit the team is showing.
And according to Stephen A. Smith on ESPN's First Take, that should mean that Head Coach Frank Vogel gets fired. Vogel has understandably been in the hot seat all season and this current run has only increased the pressure on the coach. But SAS has explained why he thinks Vogel needs to be let go.
“It’s time for Frank Vogel to go,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “He has to go as head coach of this franchise. It’s time to put him out of his misery. It’s time to put LeBron James out of his misery. It’s not that they’re losing. If you’re scratching and clawing — it’s nip and tuck — but were able to point to injuries, that would be different.
"That’s not what’s going on here with the Los Angeles Lakers. We’re seeing a level of inefficiency, a level of ineptitude, a lack of spirit. It’s like these guys don’t know what it means to be Lakers. It’s Frank Vogel’s responsibility to overcome that.
“It’s not his fault, ladies and gentlemen, as it pertains to this roster and the position that they put him in. I’m not saying that Frank Vogel doesn’t deserve to be a head coach in the National Basketball Association, but I’ve seen coaches facing arduous circumstances with a roster that performed much better than he’s done as a coach.
"LeBron James is your star. You can lose games. You don’t have to be 10 games under .500. You don’t have to give up 48 points in a first quarter and then follow that up by getting outscored 26-4 to start a game. There’s no spirit, there’s no enthusiasm, there is nothing. The Lakers are a shell of themselves. At this particular moment in time, it’s embarrassing to watch this team.”
The job of motivating a team is always down to the Head Coach, so Stephen A. isn't entirely wrong when he calls Frank Vogel out for his inability to do so. However, Anthony Davis being injured and Russell Westbrook regressing have to be taken into account.
It's also hard to tell what firing Vogel would accomplish considering that the roster is also a bit of an issue but a new coach might be able to bring in fresh ideas that will allow the Lakers to end their season on a higher note. Whatever may happen though, certainly, Frank Vogel is currently in an unenviable position.