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Following the resignation of Magic Johnson as president of club operations and the hiring of Frank Vogel as the new coach, Californians have a lot of work to do
LeBron James is the undisputed figure of the club, but it is not the only piece that decides or that makes up the project. While 'The King' enjoys his first long vacations in years, the Los Angeles Lakers have had a lot of work after the disappointing elimination in regular round, which presages a quite long and hectic preseason. Coach Luke Walton was fired and instead Frank Vogel arrived, and more recently, Earvin 'Magic' Johnson resigned as president of operations, in an unfavorable situation for the image of the club, which from our perspective will need reinvention to redeem at 19-20 and at a minimum, advance to the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference of the NBA.
Vogel, a young coach, featured in teams with less budget, seems an interesting option but I'm not sure it's the right one for a team with so much history and so compelled to show off next season. The 45-year-old coach, with experience as an assistant at the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Sixers and Indiana Pacers, and as a principal coach at Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic, also goes on to his first challenge as coach of a Western team, since all his previous appearances were in Eastern clubs.
With a little more journey than Walton, no doubt remains the question of whether he is able to lead a team that is LeBron James with all that implies. James was a guide for Walton and I have the feeling that the situation with Vogel will not be very different. The Lakers, however, already showed that they are not interested in a big poster coach because the other two interviewees were Tyron Lue (friend of James and with whom he won the ring in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Monty Williams) . In that sense, no big changes are coming, but let's say that, from the start, Vogel seems better alternative than Walton's. First reinvention ?, time will tell.
However, how can the owner of the club, Jeannie Buss, and his right-hand man, Rob Pelinka, straighten out the institutional direction after the resignation of 'Magic' Johnson last month for his differences with Pelinka, which, incidentally, does not He seems to be the most beloved leader in the NBA. At the time of writing this article, the Lakers were without operations president, after seeing an emblematic club man and basketball expert leave, beyond the results did not accompany him.
It was Johnson who took LeBron to the club and the first who asked to fire Walton, but Pelinka prevented him. The second reinvention will be to get someone capable and experienced, but above all to make good relationship with 'The Great Rob', so there are no crosses of interests. Here it is also worth wondering what will be the relationship with Vogel ?, who does not seem to have enough back if the results do not materialize.
And what of LeBron?
One thing is certain and we all know it. James alone will not be able to change the story, let alone the season in which he will arrive at 35 years of age. They need elite players to accompany him, at least two, but apparently big names that will remain free agents at the end of this season as Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis have no interest in playing for Los Angeles, nor did Trevor Ariza, who preferred to be transferred from the Phoenix Suns to the Washington Wizards, before the Lakers.
Of course, the young players who are already in the squad and have talent as Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell Pope, and Lonzo Ball should at least repeat their performance last season with one more year of experience, or also be appetizing piece of change by some player or players with more experience. If you ask me, I think the second mentioned is the most likely, and there, sure James's hands can be stuck, in the first mentioned not, because it does not depend on him. Third reinvention, who to let go and who to keep in the club? And how to reach without error.
For James, the first year as a member of the Lakers could not be worse with an injury that absented him for five weeks and that began to mark the team's debacle, until being eliminated, and in his case, for the first time since 2005. Surely he is most interested in changing the situation for the next tournament. He already influenced in fact a contract that we have not mentioned and is the coach Jason Kidd, with experience in the Dallas Mav's and the Milwaukee Bucks, and who will be the assistant Vogel. A postin assistant.
James also knows reinvention, because he has influenced with his image certain situations and decisions in the teams he has been in. He helped convince Kevin Love to ask for an exchange to Cleveland in 2014 and that helped the 2016 title. It also influenced the Cavaliers' decision to rebuild their roster in the middle of the 2017-18 season when the campaign was a disaster and they were going course to elimination. Finally, the Cavs advanced like seconds of Conference and returned to play the end of the NBA before the Golden State Warriors.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "La reinvención como única alternativa para Los Ángeles Lakers de la 19-20"