On what to write about...More on coffee is appealing. Insights and analysis on behind the scenes happenings of the NBA, trades, moves that almost happen and don't and why...past or current. Why people are allowed to write whole cluckbait articles on your writing and nothing of their own

Expand full comment

I agree - Vogel shouldn't get fired and I hope the Lakers don't fire him. The desire to find "fault" seems misguided. Was there really a better path? The roster is a product of the decision to bring Russ in. Who else do you get on minimum deals? The Russ trade is a result of Lebron and AD saying Russ was the guy they wanted. Is Pelinka supposed to ignore Lebron and AD, and instead go with Hield? (Who also has an extra year on his contract at 30+ mil.) With Hield, the Lakers are probably right where they are now, because the main problem is that Lebron is getting older and AD is hurt again. Buddy doesn't change that. If Pelinka had ignored Bron, isn't the narrative right now "Why didn't the Lakers listen to Lebron?" And, if Lebron wants Russ, hasn't Lebron earned that trust, given his track record, stature and the fact that he just gave the Lakers a championship 14 months ago? One Lakers commentator said that the current state is a result of a "dereliction of duty" on the part of Rob Pelinka. Does anyone think they would have made a different decision if Rich Paul calls you and says "Lebron wants Russ?" Lebron and AD and Pelinka and Vogel and Jeanie gave us (I'm a Laker fan) the 17th trophy. I'm good if they wanted to take a big swing and missed. It happens and we will be back.

Expand full comment

Too bad the Lakers don't have Jason Kidd on staff anymore. Would have made for an easier transition.

Excellent point on the funk Utah is in. It seems the rumblings about Danny Ainge trying to reunite with Gordon Hayward is really getting to them.

Expand full comment

I would also welcome your insights of the source of the Kings’ malaise. I get that everyone is on the trading block, but it happened before that. I thought it might have been Luke (or Joeger) but Gentry and his defensive specialist plus hype-God Doug Christie can’t even light a fire under them. Is the team simply lacking in leadership on the floor? Why can’t Fox step up to the challenge?

Expand full comment

Sane insights about the Vogel situation, which might forecast a less than sane reality by management. When AD comes back, all this might be irrelevant, but Hield would have helped them more than Westbrook in many ways. Loved the Numbers Game. Great data and fun facts. Keep up the insights Marc. I’d love to see more explanation of Xs and Os, but that is just one bball nerd’s request.

Expand full comment

Firing Vogel is the easiest route to take! Unfortunately for him. I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of firing the Coach that won them the 17th banner in franchise history 14-15 months ago. If you’re going to fire Vogel 44 games into the season. Who is the replacement? Fizdale? 1-5 as the interim! Hard pass. This is from left field but I’d rather take a chance with Phil Handy. And, I know that’s a stretch. I just don’t know who is capable of coming in this late and making an impact? LeBron James player/Coach like Bill Russell? This organization set Frank up for failure the moment they decided to go All in For Russell Westbrook! Punted on the youth and the defensive core and principles and of course punted on Caruso. If they bring in a Scott Brooks or D’Antoni I think I’m going to lose my mind. Vogel isn’t perfect. That’s been illustrated but what the heck else was he supposed to do with this old - slow - unmotivated team? Marc, you’re the best! Excellent piece!!

Expand full comment
Jan 18, 2022·edited Jan 18, 2022

Aye, Marc, I’ve been dreading this column all season, and now, it’s here… 😞

My biggest takeaway from reading your article, I wish the team had media consultant, like yourself, who could provide them an objective view of their progress as a team. Of course, they would have to be willing to listen to that constructive criticism first. 🤨

This article is very fair to Vogel, while also mentioning the biggest sore spots for him as a coach: his line-up and rotation decisions. I still wonder how much he has a choice in some of these decisions, but at the end of the day, he is responsible for the product they put on the floor—fair or not.

After digesting “The Athletic” article and your column, I’ve resolved myself to thinking that Vogel is no longer the coach on February 2nd—the first game back after the Grammy road trip and coincidently, AD’s return back if his 6 week timetable holds.

Either way, this is very disappointing for me, as I’ve long admired Vogel’s defensive acumen and his ability to keep all outside distractions at bay. Until this season…

You and I spoke in your Greenroom sessions this off-season about how bewildering it was that the front office was dragging it’s feet on his extension. Come to find out, he might as well been in a lame-duck situation with only getting a nominal extra year.

I’m glad, though, you put some onus on the front office. For years, we’ve operated as a “mom-and-pop shop” organization that has refused to modernize or spend money to do so. I thought winning a title helped to show we had righted the ship. But, if anything, what these last two years have shown, is that we won despite the front office—not because of it. 😞

I have no doubt Vogel will land on his feet as a top-flight defensive coordinator or head coach somewhere else. I just wish our organization, from Jeanie on down, would look in the mirror for once and admit their shortcomings.

A couple of years ago, a few fans tried a protest to get Jeanie to “Sell the Team.” What followed was a championship!

Perhaps, we need to organize another one to get their attention—they obviously need prodding since, when left alone, only disarray ensues.

Expand full comment