Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel addresses job security: ‘Don’t feel like I’m under siege’ – KFSN-TV

LOS ANGELES — Just 15 months removed from guiding the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA championship, coach Frank Vogel once again found himself answering questions about his job security on Wednesday night.

“I don’t feel like I’m under siege,” Vogel said before the Lakers lost 111-104 to the Indiana Pacers. “It’s not hard to do my job; I’m very focused on the task at hand. I’ve always been that way.”

Following a 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets over the weekend — which was L.A.’s third straight loss at the time, with the Lakers’ defense allowing 125 points or more in all three defeats — Vogel’s job was in jeopardy, according to various reports.

Had L.A. suffered a similar result in Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz, the Lakers’ front office could have felt compelled to remove Vogel from his post, sources told ESPN.

Instead, the Lakers beat the Jazz 101-95 in the team’s most complete performance of the season. The Lakers held the league’s No. 1 offense to just 37.3% shooting and downed the No. 4 team in the Western Conference despite missing All-Star big man Anthony Davis (knee) and leading bench scorer Carmelo Anthony (back).

Vogel was able to press on, but he was asked Wednesday about the tenuous time as he prepared to face a Pacers team that came into the night having lost 10 of its previous 11 contests.

“It’s really not up to me whether it’s fair or not,” he said. “It comes with the territory, comes with being the Lakers coach. We have high expectations. This fan base really cares. It’s a big market, and I wouldn’t want it any other way, to be honest with you. I want people to care, I want people to want the best and to command excellence out of our group. That’s what we command of ourselves; that’s just the way it is.”

It was the second time this season Vogel addressed questions about his job performance — a line of questioning that was almost invited by the Lakers after granting Vogel only a one-year contract extension in the offseason. The tepid financial commitment came despite the fact that Vogel’s playoff coaching record winning percentage, 18-9 (.667), puts him third in franchise history — behind only Pat Riley (.685) and Paul Westhead (.684) — and ahead of Phil Jackson (.652), who is fourth.

Vogel said Wednesday his interactions with the Lakers’ front office — namely vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka as well as senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis — have been business as usual, even with L.A.’s recent struggles.

“I meet with our front office,” Vogel said. “We talk about the previous night’s game. Every game. All year. It’s been that way for three years. And it’s not been different this week or of late.”

Vogel characterized his relationship with the front office as “healthy” and said he has been given no specific feedback about his job performance as L.A. has started the season at an underwhelming 22-23 (.489).

“Everyone is working together to leave no stone unturned in terms of getting this thing going in the right direction,” he said. “And we all have a great working relationship where we’re trying to figure out things together. We won a championship this way, and I feel good about our process.”

Vogel said the scrutiny is part and parcel to manning the sidelines for a team stocked with future Hall of Famers and expecting another title run.

“In this business, and with this team, if you’re not winning at a super high level, you’re going to get this type of noise,” he said. “I’m good at blocking that out. I feel good about the job that we’re doing.”

Vogel said the Lakers’ defensive execution against the Jazz should be a lesson to his team on what it can accomplish when it brings the requisite focus to a game. He said that he and his coaching staff will continue to tweak schematic concepts and lineups on a game-to-game basis until Davis returns.

“I believe in what we can do this year,” Vogel said, “so steadfastly remaining focused on the task at hand.”

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