LeBron James, New Lakers HC Frank Vogel Had a 'Very Positive' Talk

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 2: Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel is seen during the Portland Trail Blazers 106-102 victory over the Indiana Pacers at the Moda Center on December 2, 2013 in Portland, Oregon. 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. (Photo by Chris Elise/Getty Images)
Chris Elise/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was introduced Monday, and he told reporters during his press conference that he had a "very positive" conversation with LeBron James after getting the job.


“There’s an excitement about … what we can accomplish.” Frank Vogel says he's had a "very positive" conversation with LeBron James since accepting the Lakers coaching job. https://t.co/Rw2RhC3bPr

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Vogel said LeBron’s 2018-19 was clearly impacted most by the Dec. 25 injury. For next season? “I expect us to see one hell of a bounce back season from LeBron James.”

James was among the players and front-office staff in attendance for Vogel's introductory presser:

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

LeBron James, Josh Hart and Kurt Rambis standing in the back of the press conference for Frank Vogel. https://t.co/M3OtLIVWy9

The relationship between James and the Lakers will nonetheless be a fascinating one to monitor over the next year.

His debut season couldn't have gone much worse: The Lakers failed to land him a second star in free agency last summer and again at the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The team won just 37 games and failed to reach the postseason. James played in just 55 games—the fewest of his career—and the Lakers were unable to come to terms with LeBron's former head coach, Tyronn Lue, in their search for the position this offseason.

If the Lakers again fail to land a superstar this summer and are unable to build a title contender around James, who will turn 35 in December, LeBron could eventually seek a trade. At the least, L.A. could have an unhappy superstar on its hands, which is always a difficult situation to navigate.

Add in the fact that former president Magic Johnson ethered the organization and general manager Rob Pelinka on First Take earlier in the day, and Vogel walked into a pyre that could burst into flames at any moment.

Regardless, he projected excitement and togetherness regarding his new gig.


“You can accomplish amazing things if everybody is together.” Lakers coach Frank Vogel says his goal is to build togetherness within the organization. https://t.co/mh6mjTWov1

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Frank Vogel: “The perception of our organization is very different from the reality that I’ve experienced in my time here ... There’s a positive vibe with our team right now”

Mike Bresnahan @Mike_Bresnahan

Vogel said he hoped the Lakers’ roster next season looked “very much like it does right now.” “I have a great confidence level and excitement about our young core,” Vogel told @RealAClifton

"I'm not going to lie. It's pretty cool to be up here," he said, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com.

It may be cool for now, but his seat could grow hot rather quickly. The Lakers remain one of the most scrutinized organizations in sports, and in the past decade, they have been one of the more dysfunctional operations in the NBA. Add in the ticking clock on James' career, and Vogel's job is hardly a simple one.