THE SECOND, California. – The new Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Frank Vogel, said the new assistant coach, Jason Kidd, is an "incredible asset" and said he will not worry about looking over his shoulder.
Vogel said that although the Lakers' headquarters raised the seed of adding Kidd to his staff, he welcomed the former head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks as his assistant after the two connected and had a "long" discussion for the first time. Vogel and Kidd did not have a previous relationship, but the Lakers head coach laughed at the idea that some might see Kidd as a possible successor.
"No, I'm very good at blocking the noise," Vogel said with a laugh when asked about how some of the media have already considered Kidd as a successor. "I've been in this business for a long time, I do not really think twice, you can say that about all the coaches in the league about their assistant coaches, it happens from time to time, I think if you treat people with the right respect and Do the work at the highest level, create an atmosphere of positivity and collaboration, you can not worry about that.
"You can not worry about looking over your shoulder, you have to worry about getting good fucking coaches, and that's what I feel about this hiring."
Vogel, who was 304-291 (.511) in his career as head coach of the Indiana Pacers (2010-16) and Orlando Magic (2016-18), said he has had his biggest success with a strong assistant coach who has coaching and coach experience on his staff.
Kidd interviewed Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and senior basketball consultant Kurt Rambis for the vacancy of head coach before the team opted to offer Ty Lue a contract. Lue withdrew from the negotiations when the Lakers refused to give up their three-year, $ 19 million offer, the sources told ESPN.
Vogel, who shares an agent with Lue, was originally introduced by Lue as a possible coach to join his staff when he met with the Lakers' team. When Lue withdrew from his consideration and the Lakers expressed interest in meeting with Vogel for the position of head coach, instead of as an assistant, Lue gave his blessing to Vogel, the sources told ESPN.
The Lakers now hope that Kidd can help Vogel develop young players like Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. Kidd also has a relationship with LeBron James, having played alongside James in the USA Team. UU
As head coach, Kidd went 44-38 and reached the second round of the playoffs in his first stint as coach, with the Nets in 2013-14, and was 138-152 in 3½ seasons in Milwaukee from 2014 until 2018
When the Lakers focused on Vogel as head coach, he approached Kidd and the two met with a long phone conversation in which each was comfortable with the other.
"I did not know Jason very well before that," Vogel said. "But, obviously, a great respect for his playing career and his coaching career, I think he has done a good job as a head coach … This has been the best model for me, in terms of training my team. coaching staff: find a respected player with coaching experience who can help strengthen my message.
"I had a long and long interview process with Jason, where we talked about all the topics you can imagine, and I left thinking that it will be an incredible asset to our program."
Vogel said he went to Kidd's domestic abuse arrest in 2001, when Kidd pleaded guilty to domestic abuse charges involving his then-wife Joumana.
"Of course I do," Vogel said when asked if the incident had stopped him. "But this was something that was in the past, and he has talked about it and has gone ahead, I think he is in a very different place from then."
Vogel was also optimistic about the current state of the Lakers despite the tumult that has surrounded the organization since Magic Johnson unexpectedly resigned as president of basketball operations in April. Vogel said that "at this moment a positive vibration is happening with our team," but he also emphasized the need to build continuity.
"We need to join our organization, and I do not just want to say with the 15 or 17 men who will be in uniform or in that wardrobe," Vogel said. "I mean the organizational union, starting with the property and the main office for the coaching staff, the players, the coaches, the commercial side, we are all going in the same direction, this is something I have done. as a head coach because you can achieve amazing things if we're all together, when that happens, with the way we do things day by day, those things translate into the court and how we play. "
Part of Vogel's optimism in the coming season comes from the belief that LeBron James will recover from a season plagued by injuries. A groin injury limited the MVP four times to only 55 games.
James attended the entire Vogel & # 39; s press conference on Monday, standing in the back, away from the cameras, leaving the focus on the new coach of the team.
Vogel said he had no dialogue with James before accepting the position, but his speech has been encouraging since he entered the fold.
"It was very positive," he said when asked about his communication with James. "There is an enthusiasm for what we can be and what we can achieve, and I am eager to start with this."