Lakers HC Frank Vogel Enters COVID Protocols; David Fizdale to Coach vs. Bulls

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 19, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel stands on the sideline during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without head coach Frank Vogel for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bulls.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Vogel was placed in the league's health and safety protocols ahead of the contest. That means David Fizdale will be the acting head coach.

Fizdale has head coaching experience from his time with the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks.

Sunday's game between the Lakers and Bulls pits two of the teams that have made many of the league's headlines of late when it comes to health and safety protocols against each other.

Chicago has not played since Saturday, Dec. 11, and had games against the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors postponed because it had so many players in the protocols. What's more, the matchup with the Lakers was pushed back from an afternoon to evening start.

While the Bulls are set to return to the court again, head coach Billy Donovan recently told reporters Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, Troy Brown Jr. and Alize Johnson "probably will not come back until after Christmas."

As for the Lakers, a tracker from CBS Sports' James Herbert lists Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, Austin Reaves, Talen Horton-Tucker and Dwight Howard in the health and safety protocols as of Sunday morning.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported Kendrick Nunn cleared protocols, although he is dealing with a right knee bone bruise.

Russell Westbrook was in protocols but was ruled available prior to Friday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

LeBron James was also in protocols earlier this month, but Charania reported the initial positive test was inconclusive and he was cleared with multiple negative ones.

Los Angeles is the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference at 16-14, while Chicago is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference at 17-10.