Frank Vogel Fired as Lakers HC amid Nick Nurse, Juwan Howard Rumors

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 11, 2022

DENVER, CO - APRIL 10: Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on April 10, 2022 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially fired head coach Frank Vogel, via Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Thank you, Coach. <a href="https://t.co/8eb4Ia9ZqI">pic.twitter.com/8eb4Ia9ZqI</a>

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported following Sunday's regular-season finale that Vogel had coached his final game with the team, although he wasn't notified of the decision.

"I haven't been told s--t, and I'm going to enjoy tonight's game," Vogel told reporters after the overtime win over the Denver Nuggets. 

The Lakers missed the playoffs after finishing the year with a 33-49 record.

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse and Michigan coach Juwan Howard are considered potential candidates to replace Vogel, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

Howard interviewed for the position in 2019 before moving to the college ranks, where he has led the Wolverines to a Sweet 16 and Elite Eight appearance in three years (there was no NCAA tournament in 2020). He was a college teammate of Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka at Michigan and an NBA teammate of LeBron James with the Miami Heat.

Nurse has spent four years with the Raptors, winning one title while being named the league's NBA Coach of the Year in 2019-20.

The new head coach will look to improve upon the performance of Vogel, who went 127-98 over three years with the Lakers. 

Los Angeles hadn't reached the playoffs in six years before hiring Vogel, but the former Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers coach turned things around right away while earning the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in 2019-20. After the season was paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lakers dominated the playoffs within the Florida bubble and took home the 17th title in franchise history.

The success didn't continue over the next two years, falling to seventh in the West last season with a 42-30 record. The squad suffered a first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns.

After falling to 11th in the conference this year, the organization decided it was time for a coaching change.

Vogel, 48, has a 250-181 career regular-season record across 11 seasons with the Lakers, Pacers and Magic.