What Ever Happened To Frank Vogel?
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Frank Vogel…said nobody since the ex-NBA champion coach was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers in April 2022.
His step away from the public eye, following the termination of his contact in LA, has left many NBA fans scratching their heads and wondering what happened next.
So, we took it upon ourselves to do some digging and track down the lesser-spotted Mr Vogel…
Since April 2022, sightings of Frank Vogel have been rare.
He has no active social media accounts and hasn’t appeared in any media or interviews since his postgame reaction to the Lakers beating the Denver Nuggets on April 10, 2022.
This overtime win against the Nuggets turned out to be Vogel’s last game as coach of the Lakers, and he was fired the next day following a poor season.
However, if you’re worried about Frank, don’t be.
He was spotted at a Dallas Mavericks training session in September 2022, so he is most likely just keeping a low profile after spending several years in the LA hot seat.
Vogel clearly loves the game of basketball, even despite the tough time he endured at the end of his tenure in Los Angeles. So, it makes sense that he would want to drop in on the occasional practice scrimmage.
He was also likely invited to observe practice by his friend and former assistant coach, Jason Kidd, who is now head coach of the Mavericks.
Frank Vogel was a prominent figure in the NBA for several years and was a head coach in the league from 2010.
He got arguably the biggest coaching job in basketball when he joined the Lakers in 2019, so basketball fans across the world got very familiar with the New Jersey native.
However, Vogel has been working in the NBA since 1997.
Here’s a breakdown of his career and notable achievements:
- Boston Celtics – video coordinator (1997–2001)
- Boston Celtics – assistant coach (2001–2004)
- Philadelphia 76ers – assistant coach (2004–2005)
- Los Angeles Lakers – advance scout (2005–2006)
- Washington Wizards – advance scout (2006–2007)
- Indiana Pacers – assistant coach (2007–2011)
- Indiana Pacers – head coach (2011–2016). Reached the playoffs in five of six years in Indiana, losing back-to-back Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014. Was also the NBA All-Star Game head coach in 2014.
- Orlando Magic – head coach (2016–2018)
- Los Angeles Lakers – head coach (2019–2022). Won the NBA championship in his first season as head coach with a regular season record of 52-19. Was NBA All-Star Game head coach for a second time in 2020.
Why Frank Vogel Got Fired By The LA Lakers
Ultimately, professional sports are results businesses, and in the 2021-22 season, Frank Vogel’s LA Lakers did not produce results that were anywhere near good enough.
Expectations are always high in LA, but fans and commentators alike were tipping Vogel’s team to win the Western Conference and be strong contenders to win their second NBA championship in three years.
After all, dynasties are not just hoped for in Los Angeles; They are demanded.
In the 2021 offseason, the Lakers added NBA offensive royalty to their roster.
They traded for Russel Westbrook from the Washington Wizards and signed Carmelo Anthony after his contract with the Portland Trailblazers finished.
Fans dared to dream, and if their roster of aging but highly experienced players could gel, they would surely be a force to be reckoned with.
And, in Frank Vogel, they had a coach that knew what it took to win a championship.
The first half of the season was underwhelming, but the Lakers remained in the hunt for the last direct playoff spot until January.
But the new year brought bad fortunes to Frank Vogel and his team.
Several different injuries to star player LeBron James, as well as sprained MCL for Anthony Davis a few days before Christmas, made the Lakers’ problems worse, and in 2022, they fell apart.
In the three crucial months from January 9 to April 7, the Lakers won just 10 games and were eventually eliminated from the playoff picture with a loss to the Phoenix Suns.
This was number seven in an eight-game losing streak, and despite winning the last two games of the season, Vogel’s fate was sealed.
The Lakers announced they would be parting ways with Frank Vogel on April 11, just one day after their final game of the 2021-22 season.
The season would be one to forget for Laker fans and was even called the ‘most disappointing season in Lakers history’ by USA Today.
Vogel would have been incredibly disappointed with how his reign at the Lakers ended.
He had an enviable depth of talent in his squad, but he would have known the potential for injuries to aging stars was real.
Many commentators also felt he was unlucky, and the decision of the franchise to trade for Russel Westbrook was a poor one.
While the trade was undoubtedly eye-catching and headline-grabbing, it didn’t really make sense because the Lakers lost out on two key players, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma.
Frank Vogel will have also been aware that Westbrook being forced to share the ball with LeBron James was not ideal.
This is not Westbrook’s game, and many commentators felt this poor decision from the Lakers hierarchy may have been a key reason why Vogel ended up being fired.
The latest whereabouts of Frank Vogel are unknown. Since he was spotted at Mavs training back in September, he hasn’t been seen in any basketball capacity.
Even though the Lakers did him dirty with the way they announced his firing, we can assume he’s doing okay financially.
Although the Lakers never published his salary, it’s fair to assume he got paid more than the $5.5 million per year he secured whilst head coach of the Orlando Magic.
So, the reason we haven’t heard much from Frank Vogel is that he’s most likely enjoying some quiet time with his wife, Jenifer, and making the most of their $5 million home in Manhattan Beach.
Will he ever return to basketball? Who knows. But if not, who could blame him?
Lead image: Twitter/Ramsay3134