The Los Angeles Lakers finally have a new coach, multiple reports stated Saturday, as Frank Vogel agreed to terms to take the job as head coach of the team.
Vogel's acceptance of the coaching job, which was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, came along with news that Jason Kidd had taken on an assistant coaching position in Vogel's staff, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.
The 27th man to assume the Lakers' top coaching position is best known for his tenure with the Indiana Pacers from 2011 to 2016, when the Pacers made the playoffs in five of six seasons. The 45-year-old, who started his NBA coaching career as an assistant with the Boston Celtics from 2001-2004, took the Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals.
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To say he is familiar with Lakers star LeBron James would be an understatement; Vogel's Pacers were eliminated in the playoffs by James and the Miami Heat in three straight seasons, including a six-game and seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Vogel's Pacers challenged James' Heat teams.
After tailing off in Indiana by missing the playoffs in 2015 and losing in the first round in 2016, the New Jersey native went on to serve two seasons with the Orlando Magic from 2016-18. Those were forgettable times. Vogel missed the playoffs in both seasons with Orlando and had a dismal record of 54-110 with the Magic before he was fired in 2018.
The newest Lakers' coach has agreed to a three-year contract to manage the sidelines, according to Wojnarowski.
Previously, the Lakers had offered former Lakers point guard Tyronn Lue a three-year contract and insisted on Kidd being an assistant on the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach's staff before talks broke down, as reported my multiple outlets including the two mentioned previously.
Vogel's reported contract length and adding Kidd to the staff seem to suggest the Lakers' front office got the terms they wanted. Notably, James' contract is for three more seasons, though the future Hall of Fame player can take the option to terminate his contract early and enter free agency after two more seasons.
The coaching contract lining up with the star player's contract is likely not a coincidence.
The Lakers have not officially replaced the position of president of basketball operations since Earvin "Magic" Johnson resigned in an impromptu press conference ahead of the team's last game of the season. Rob Pelinka continues to serve as general manager and is the highest official in the team's front office at last check.
As an added wrinkle, Vogel also previously coached Lance Stephenson. Stephenson had his best stretch as a pro in Indiana under Vogel, but the 28-year-old's return to the Lakers has yet to be determined, as he is a free agent. Stephenson averaged 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.5 minutes with the Lakers in 2018-19, so he is likely not a top priority. However, Stephenson provided value of the bench and could figure into the Lakers' plans once again.
Vogel succeeds Luke Walton, who mutually parted ways with the Lakers in April before taking a coaching job with the Sacramento Kings.