Los Angeles Lakers senior basketball advisor Kurt Rambis made his “voice heard” on the recent roster decisions made by Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.
The Lakers have perfected peak mediocrity this season with an even-keeled .500 record for a large portion of the season. Even now, the Lakers are 22-22, and while they could still make playoffs, their inconsistency leaves much to be desired.
Apparently Lakers brass feels the same way about the team’s coaching staff, especially head coach Frank Vogel. While Vogel has been vocal about the coaching staff’s tireless effort to notch every win, they’ve been hard-won all year — and the Lakers are having serious conversations about how to fix it.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis met with Vogel and assistant coach David Fizdale met to “discuss ways to turn things around” after the team lost to the Sacramento Kings. It was their third such meeting in recent days at the time.
Then, the Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets by 37 points, their biggest deficit of the season.
The L.A. Times timeline only gets worse for Vogel from there. After the Nuggets loss, Rambis attended a Lakers’ pregame coaches meeting for the first time all year, having only previously attended these meetings virtually. Rambis advocated for more minutes for DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard.
For the moment, Vogel’s job is safe after the team bested the Utah Jazz, but sources indicate that a loss to the Jazz could have easily been “the final straw.”
Could Kurt Rambis replace Frank Vogel as Lakers head coach?
While Jordan was listed as “DNP – Coach’s Decision” during the Jazz game, Howard landed eight rebounds, three assists and a steal during his 22 minutes in the game. Rambis’ presence at the coach’s meeting and his suggestion indicates that perhaps Rambis wants a more involved role making coaching decisions for the Lakers.
The 63-year-old was a Laker back in the team’s decadent Showtime era, winning four championships with the Lakers in the 1980s. He then began his coaching career with the Lakers in 1994, later taking head coaching positions with the Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks.
Even though Rambis has a lengthy coaching career, his head coaching record is something that should give the Lakers pause before promoting Rambis over Vogel.
Rambis has a head coaching record of 72-173, as both of his head coaching gigs ended in disaster. Rambis’ current position may have less to do with his decision-making and more to do with his wife’s personal connection to Jeanie Buss.
Linda Rambis, Kurt’s wife, has been referred to as the “shadow owner” of the Lakers and has even been present in coaching interviews in the past. Even though Kurt has deep ties to the organization, the Lakers would be remiss to think Rambis could properly address the issues Vogel is facing.