Who or what is to blame for the silence of the Lakers’ opening season?
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After practice on Monday, LeBron James and Frank Vogel responded to criticism from the head coach for the Lakers’ third year in a row after a 119-115 loss to the Clippers on Friday.
“I guess criticism comes with a job, you know?” James said with a slight laugh. “Frank is a strong minded guy. He has a great coaching staff. And we have to go out as his players and do a better job of building on the field.”
While James took responsibility for the Lakers’ struggles, he also did not spare Vogel from mounting pressure and blamed the Lakers for a 12–12 start to the season.
As noted by The AthleticOf course, James also failed to answer the second part of a reporter’s question, where he was asked to “evaluate” Vogel’s coaching. He added that the Lakers “don’t mind some adversity” or “people talking about us” because it “comes with territory.”
James noted that “everything stays in the house” with the Lakers when it comes to “preparing” for their next opponent.
“Frank doesn’t care, and we either don’t care what people are saying.”
The Lakers are currently ranked 17th in defensive efficiency and 22nd in offense. He has dealt with a rotating roster due to multiple injuries, including James, who recently missed eight straight games due to an abdominal strain.
“There’s going to be criticism with this job,” Vogel said after Monday’s practice. “It’s something we’re all accustomed to. And I’ve been a coach for ten years, I’ve seen it all.”
Vogel spent six seasons with the Pacers and two with the Magic before joining the Lakers in 2019 and winning a title in his first season.
“Yeah, it’s more national. Is there a big fan base in LA in this market? Yes there is. But it’s been there for every head coach, and it’s something I’m not unfamiliar with,” Vogel said.
The four-time NBA champion also expressed confidence in the Lakers roster on Monday, which includes new additions to Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook. New Lakers Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn have not yet played due to injury.
“It’s impossible for me to say, well, when will we get to the point that we need to make a change. And then I don’t think we even need to do that. I love every guy who’s in this locker room and I believe in what we’re doing,” James said.