Should the Pacers pursue a reunion with ex-Lakers coach Frank Vogel?
Following an embarrassing season that saw them miss the postseason entirely, the Los Angeles Lakers dropped the hammer on head coach and former Indiana Pacers play-caller Frank Vogel, parting ways with him after leading them to a championship two seasons ago.
While the move was far from unforeseen, it was frowned upon by fans and pundits alike, especially considering that the bulk of the Lakers’ struggles are hinged on their poor roster construction, assembling a team filled with non-defenders around a defensive-minded coach.
Despite some cloud casted on him this season, Frank Vogel remains an esteemed coach in the NBA, widely known for his smothering defensive systems.
The second-winningest coach in Indiana Pacers history, Vogel’s tenure with the Blue and Gold produced some of the most successful runs for the franchise, flirting with an NBA Finals appearance twice in 2013 and 2014.
After a tumultuous reign in LA, Vogel should easily be able to land another job if he so desires. As a result, the Pacers should come calling on his availability—and willingness—to settle for a less prominent role in Indiana and help the franchise regain ground as they build for the future.
With the Pacers having struggled so much on defense as they cruised to a meager 28th-ranked defensive rating this season, they obviously need a lot of help in this regard
And while coaching needs functional engines to make it work, Vogel could lay the groundwork for Rick Carlisle and co. as a defensive coordinator, something they have sorely missed since Dan Burke skipped town.
Newly-axed coaches typically take time off to recharge, but working in a familiar environment could entice Vogel, especially since his shortcomings will be tempered in a reduced role, though only Myles Turner has played under him among those in the current roster.
Getting Frank Vogel back would be objectively unlikely, but the Indiana Pacers have a lot of reasons to want him back. Whether the ex-coach reciprocates the interest, however, is another story.