After trying and failing to convince Ty Lue to go for another round of LeBron-fueled stress nightmares, the Los Angeles Lakers settled on their new head coach over the weekend: Frank Vogel, and also Jason Kidd.
Vogel last coached the Orlando Magic for two unremarkable seasons. Before that, he coached the Indiana Pacers as they habitually lost to LeBron’s Heat in the playoffs. So, you could say he’s familiar with the Lakers’ strengths.
Kidd last coached the Milwaukee Bucks, and was fired in the middle of the 2017–18 season. (This season’s squad earned the top playoff seed in the East and is in the conference finals, so they’re doing pretty well without him.) According to Woj, LeBron likes Kidd, who in his “prominent assistant coach” role will work closely with Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball.
The message here is obvious: Vogel is there to help the Lakers’ defense, and Kidd is there as a conduit for when James wants to passive-aggressively submit input. If Vogel can’t improve Los Angeles’s defense, Kidd is also there waiting to be the interim coach who’s cool with the Lakers’ best player. All Vogel’s sacrificing is his reputation and future career prospects. No pressure, buddy.