Former Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel made a strong impression in his interview with the Los Angeles Lakers and the sides are planning to talk again soon about the team’s head coaching job, league sources told ESPN.
After the Lakers top two targets, Monty Williams and Ty Lue rejected the franchise’s offers, the Lakers reset their search and Vogel is emerging as a serious candidate, sources said. Vogel flew to Los Angeles on Thursday and met with Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and his front office and had detailed discussions on how he’d approach the possibility of taking over what has become a volatile situation.
Vogel was the runner up to Jeff Hornacek when Phil Jackson hired a replacement for Derek Fisher in the summer of 2016. Jackson remains strongly tied to a Lakers hierarchy that includes controlling owner Jeanie Buss and advisor Kurt Rambis.
The Lakers are under tremendous pressure to partner LeBron James with a suitable replacement to Luke Walton and to start to quell the turmoil that’s surrounding the organization.
As much as Vogel has to be judged on a difficult two-year tenure with the Magic in which he won 29 and 25 games with a rebuilding team, he did build a strong reputation in his five seasons with the Pacers, where they advanced to two Eastern Conference Finals during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.