NBA rumors: Pressure mounting on Frank Vogel

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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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January 16, 2022 | 12:36 pm EST Update
How would you describe your game? Your dominance at the end of the Hapoel game as a 4 was impressive, your controlled the game. It was like that for 40 minutes. In this respect, it is possible to watch you at much higher levels. How do you see the possibility of returning to the NBA? Bonzie Colson: It has been my target since I came here. That’s my goal and also having played in Europe will help me when I get there. Playing in the NBA is easier than playing in Europe. There is more space. The three-second rule doesn’t exist here. There are many different rules. That’s why players are constantly changing places. Scoring is easier in the NBA. Because first of all, much more space is opening up. Also here are more systems. Every country has a system. A running game is being played in Spain. There is a game based on the physical struggle in Turkey. Every country has a different style of basketball. The NBA is opening up. There is a system, but you can’t be as aggressive as here. In Europe, you can be aggressive, push, hit, do a lot of things, but in the NBA you can’t do that. That’s why some of the players who play here look good there.
Traveling to Europe after your Bucks career… At what point did you decide it’s (the NBA) not working anymore? Bonzie Colson: I wouldn’t say it wasn’t working anymore. I was young, well I’m still young, so I decided I could do a year overseas and then come back (to the NBA). Scouts are still looking overseas, I could try something new. Then COVID hit, so I knew I was kind of in-between Europe and the NBA. So far has been a great opportunity. My goal is still to get back to the NBA for sure but I think it was great to do that and I’ve been doing well.
The National Basketball Association is offering virtual courtside seats on Meta’s $299 Oculus Quest 2 devices. The headsets were one of the most popular Christmas gifts in 2021, showing that people seem to be more willing than ever to give virtual reality a try. And businesses are trying to keep your eyeballs on their content by creating VR versions of their apps and games. The NBA experience is free and available on Meta’s Horizon Venues platform, which is a free software download for the Oculus headset. People appear as digital avatars, sort of like cartoon versions of their real selves, and watch an NBA game from a courtside perspective. It’s not Jack Nicholson’s Los Angeles Lakers seat at Crypto.com Arena or Spike Lee’s seat at Madison Square Garden, but it almost replicates the real thing.
As the Celtics were up 23-18 in the first quarter, one avatar approached me to ask for assistance on watching. I was confused at first, as my stream was fine, but it became clear the real person behind the avatar had a bad connection or was restricted due to local blackout rules. That prompted him to label the NBA’s metaverse experience “trash.” Moments later, I asked another avatar standing next to me what he thought of the experience. “This is dope,” responded the avatar named “TUtley.” “They need to get this for football.” The scenic views of Boston that appeared during game breaks were pretty impressive, too, and gave me a sense of being in the city where the game is played.