With the Los Angeles Lakers hovering above or below .50…

With the Los Angeles Lakers hovering above or below .500 for the first quarter of the season amid overlapping injuries and learning curves with a new roster, Lakers governor Jeanie Buss was asked how the organization would evaluate coach Frank Vogel in his third season. “Until we’re 100 percent healthy, I don’t think you can really make any judgment,” Buss told NBA.com at halftime of the Lakers-Celtics game on Tuesday at Staples Center.

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LeBron James said he and his teammates have to play better when asked about the scrutiny facing Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel. "I think criticism comes with the job, you know?" James said after practice on Monday. "Frank is a strong-minded guy. He has a great coaching staff. And we as his players have to do a better job of going out and producing on the floor. We're a team and an organization that don't mind some adversity, that don't mind people saying things about us, obviously, because it comes with the territory."
If not, Rob Pelinka would have given Vogel more than a one-year extension in the offseason. He would have ensured that one of the league’s top defensive coaches still had elite defenders at his disposal, rather than gutting the league’s top defense to chase a third superstar. For his part, Vogel said the speculation and pressure are no different from what he experienced in his first two stops as a head coach in Indiana and Orlando. “I’ve been a coach for 10 years, I’ve seen it all,” Vogel said. “Is it more national? Yes, it’s more national. Is there a bigger fanbase in this market in L.A.? Yes, there is. But it’s been there for every head coach, and it’s something I’m not unfamiliar with.”
There was much speculation in coaching circles over whether Pelinka, who is known to value flexibility and leverage in all dealings, would indeed extend Vogel’s contract. But the broadly held consensus was that no one could coach a LeBron-led team as a lame duck. The chatter wasn’t exactly dampened by the addition to L.A.’s staff of David Fizdale, who had developed a close relationship in Miami with James, nor by the arrival of accomplished veterans, fading superstars and the egos that accompany them.
Magic president Jeff Weltman inherited an expensive and bad roster, limiting his options to shape it. He also inherited coach Frank Vogel, and maybe there’s something Weltman will do about that. Marc Stein of The New York Times in his newsletter: "Orlando’s ongoing malaise, especially after the promise of an unexpected 8-4 start, make it a widely held assumption in coaching circles that Vogel will be dismissed after the franchise’s sixth successive season out of the playoffs."
And now Vogel finds himself in a predicament coaches dread: on the hot seat, unsure if his team’s front office will retain him for next season. Vogel is in a precarious spot. Between Vogel’s first and second seasons, the Magic fired Rob Hennigan as the team’s general manager, dismissed many other key figures within the basketball operations department and hired Jeff Weltman as the president of basketball operations and John Hammond as the general manager.
As they have remained quiet, gossip has swirled for months within NBA circles about Vogel’s future. The speculation accelerated after the Magic followed a superb 8-4 start with an injury-fueled nine-game losing streak. The conjecture has always centered around an assumption that Weltman will want to pick his own coach rather than retain the coach he inherited. Then, with a new coach in place, Weltman ostensibly would undertake an incremental rebuild and reboot the failed effort that began under Hennigan.
Many executives and scouts throughout the NBA think the Magic’s roster has been flawed throughout Vogel’s tenure. In the months leading into Vogel’s first season, the Magic made two major failed moves. First, the team traded Victor Oladipo and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis for Serge Ibaka. Then it signed center Bismack Biyombo to a four-year deal worth $17 million per season.
Orlando could be making a coaching change, with former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse seen as the Magic’s No. 1 choice to replace Frank Vogel. After a 20-year career in which he was twice an All-Star, Stackhouse has coached Toronto’s G-League team and has close ties to Jeff Weltman, now running the Magic as president of basketball operations after being with the Raptors and seeing Stackhouse up close when he was an assistant coach.
Orlando could be making a coaching change, with former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse seen as the Magic’s No. 1 choice to replace Frank Vogel. After a 20-year career in which he was twice an All-Star, Stackhouse has coached Toronto’s G-League team and has close ties to Jeff Weltman, now running the Magic as president of basketball operations after being with the Raptors and seeing Stackhouse up close when he was an assistant coach.
As for Doc Rivers, he’s done one of his best coaching jobs by keeping a depleted roster in the Western Conference playoff race in the post-Chris Paul era. If Rivers is out he may return to television although his name will surface in Orlando and New York should those jobs become available.
Coach Frank Vogel’s contract has expired now that the Pacers’ season has ended, league sources said, and president Larry Bird has left many around the league, including Vogel, with the belief that a coaching change could be coming soon. Vogel was paid approximately $2.5 million in the final year of his deal, league sources said. In a market devoid of many successful head-coaching candidates, Vogel could double that salary on his next job.
Bird has scheduled his season-ending news conference for Thursday at 11 a.m. ET in Indianapolis, but so far hasn’t engaged Vogel in discussions about the coach’s future with the team, league sources said. Bird told Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star that he owed Vogel a decision soon while there were other head-coaching jobs available for him to pursue. Bird also said he needed to discuss Vogel’s future with owner Herb Simon.
Vogel has the respect of his players but he can also play hardball. He is the perfect guy when it comes to being a face of the franchise, appearing at golf outings, meeting with season-ticket holders, and in accommodating various requests around the building. But basketball is business. The players and coaches know that. Vogel is the fourth-longest tenured head coach in The Association (six seasons) behind Gregg Popovich (20), Rick Carlisle and Erik Spoelstra (eight). There’s something to be said for continuity, especially in a league when leadership has a short leash on its coaches.
The 42-year-old Vogel, a graduate of Wildwood (N.J.) High School, has a 250-181 record with the Pacers in six seasons, but Bird never has seemed a big fan. Vogel’s job was said to be in jeopardy in past years. It’s believed Bird could prefer a former player as his next coach and his former Celtics teammate Kevin McHale, fired by Houston early in the season, is on the market.
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird said Monday he hasn’t decided whether to bring back coach Frank Vogel for a seventh season, telling IndyStar: “It’s no secret – I want us to score more points.”
What Bird has to decide, he says, is the best way to achieve more offense in a league headed in that direction: Change the roster, change the coach, or change both. “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Bird said.
Vogel’s job has been said to be in jeopardy in past years. He would seem a perfect fit if front-runner Kurt Rambis agrees to slide over as the offensive coordinator of the triangle. According to sources, Knicks owner James Dolan felt Vogel outcoached Mike Woodson during the Knicks’ seminal six-game playoff defeat to the Pacers in 2013. The Knicks carried a 54-28 record into the second-round series before being upset – the pivotal moment coming when Carmelo Anthony was blocked at the rim by Roy Hibbert late in the fourth quarter of Game 6.
What happens next, however, could be more destruction. The same wrecking ball that demolished Roy Hibbert’s time in Indianapolis last offseason could be aimed next for coach Frank Vogel. As Bird walked out of Air Canada Centre late Sunday night following the Pacers’ season-ending loss to the Toronto Raptors, I asked him if Vogel – widely believed to be in the final year of his contract – will be back next season. “Come on, man,” Bird told me, before walking off. “The game just ended.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Indiana coach Frank Vogel's contract expires at season's end and so far there's been no discussion of a contract extension. Scott Agness: That means his extension on Oct. 8, 2014 just tacked on another year. But it was announced as a multi-year extensionScott Agness added,
Tim Bontemps: Heard tonight that Vogel may have been coaching for his job. Think he's a really good coach. Would be an odd move.
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